Shadyside debates handicap parking

SHADYSIDE – The issue of handicap parking in front of residential homes is being questioned by the village council.

Several residents have had handicap parking placed in front of their homes.

Though these residents have the proper paper work, they may not meet the proper requirements.

“According to the most recent guidelines, you have to be in a wheelchair, wearing braces or terminally ill,” said Councilwoman Connie Gross, who spoke on the subject in a recent council meeting. “When we did those guidelines, it was basically those three main justifications, because just about everybody in town could get a handicap permit from the state.”

Those who are receiving these new parking permits have the proper state forms.

“We’ve opened up a can of worms with handicap parking,” said Mayor Bob Newhart. “They have the requirements from the states. I need to honor them.”

Shadyside is the only town in the area that offers parking in front of residential homes. Gross’s concerns extends from those who need these parking spots for a short time, such as six to eight weeks, for example, due to a surgery, but once the resident no longer needs the parking spot, he or she does not notify the proper people and continues to use the spot.

This has become a village-wide problem, and Gross’s solution is to pull the handicap parking from those who do not meet the requirements since parking is limited in certain spots in Shadyside.

“It’s difficult when they come and say ‘here’s my permit from the state,’ I’m not in a wheel chair, I’m not this, I’m not that, but five other people on this block are not in a wheelchair, or this, that or the other have the same thing,” said Newhart. “Does council wish me to go around and those that do not met those criteria, be pulled?”

It was set up in the pass that those who have and need a handicap parking place needs to reapply in January and pull those who do not reapply.

“It’s really getting to be a problem,” said Gross.