Revocation of courtesy parking - letters from individuals

Revocation of courtesy parking - letters from individuals

June 25th, 2018
Letter 1

This week the city announced that is taking away one of the few benefits they offer people with disabilities; free parking at any meter for two hours. The new computer system can’t include people with disabilities?

I am a person who has used a wheelchair for 30 years in the City of Edmonton. I moved here from a small town to play wheelchair basketball. I competed in the 1988 Paralympics in Seoul, South Korea.

Since graduating from college in 1990, I have been trying to live a “normal” life in Edmonton. But I didn’t find actual accessible housing until 2004. People with disabilities need access to basic amenities in this city like housing and parking. 
Because I am not able to work a regular job anymore, I volunteer my time in the community. I was able to do that because of the free wheelchair parking the city offered. Not every meter is accessible and snow makes street parking harder but it was one of few options available to me.

If this city actually wants to end poverty, it had better start really looking at disability in a different way. Poverty is created when people don’t have access to basic amenities; when we cannot even cover our basic needs.

This city is creating poverty then paying a lot of very able bodied people to analyze how to end it rather than putting policies in place to stop their exclusive practices.
Ridiculous and shameful Edmonton. We can do better.

Roxanne Ulanicki
Edmonton, AB

Letter 2

Using "automation" as an excuse to take our free parking away is just an excuse. I told my Councillor's assistant that if their automated drive-by picks me up as non-payment, they can see my placard and hit the delete key. She laughed because it is just that simple. The City said they explored all options for us. They just want our parking $. They used motor vehicles to get to us. So, why not use a new placard with a chip in it. They say this costs money. I asked if the e pay machines are accessible for the disabled. They could not answer. I am certainly not paying $6 to see my counselor. I can buy a cantaloupe, pineapple, loaf of bread and a Timmies for $6. The city gives 25% discount on parking to able bodied people with small cars. But, they want me to pay? The parking placard is provincial so if I live in Calgary I'd get free parking, but not here? Automation is an excuse.