Birmingham’s Accessible Parking Program Under Way
In March of this year, the City adopted a new accessible parking policy to comply with state and federal laws as well as being more consistent with neighboring communities. New regulations under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) that require reserved accessible parking spaces on- street for newly constructed roads provided the City with an opportunity to improve on- street accessible parking throughout the City. This policy will apply to any public street that has individually marked parking spaces and all municipal lots. The City’s new parking policy is as follows:
- Reserved, designated spaces for the disabled shall be provided at the rate of at least one per 25 existing parking metered spaces on each block, located near adjacent ramps, as well as near pedestrian traffic generators.
- Each reserved space shall have a blue marked parking meter, a reserved parking sign using the standard accessible parking symbol and blue pavement markings. The meter shall charge for parking at the same rate and time limit as the other meters on the block, except that no meter shall have a time limit of less than two hours.
- Parkmobile customers parked at disabled parking spaces shall have the ability to renew their parking fee remotely one time over and above the posted time limit.
- Parking for free at any meter or at yellow curbed zones shall no longer be allowed. Disabled parkers with a yellow free parking tag affixed to their permit (as issued by the Michigan Secretary of State) shall continue to be exempt from parking fees at all metered spaces.
- If you have a disabled parking permit, you may park at either the designated blue handicap accessible parking spots OR at any other meter in the city and be subject to the appropriate time limitations and parking fees.
- All new street projects within the Central Business District shall be designed with fully compliant reserved disabled spaces in accordance with the new ADA law.
On Saturday, October 8, 2016, the on-street construction of approximately 70 new designated accessible parking spaces will commence. Each designated accessible parking space will have the following to assist the public in identifying it as such:
- A standard sign stating “RESERVED PARKING ONLY” with the international symbol of accessibility parking space marking.
- The parking meter head will be painted blue.
- The parking meter head will be lowered to below 48”.
- The parking space lines (both angle and parallel) will be painted blue.
The City hopes that all of the above construction will be completed by the first week of November, 2016. Once all the accessible parking spaces are clearly marked and ready for use, the police department will begin temporarily issuing advisory warnings to anyone not in compliance with the new policy. These advisory warnings will consist of a courtesy warning ticket accompanied by a reminder card detailing the nature of the violation. Multiple warnings will result in a violation being issued, however, strict enforcement will not commence until January of 2017.
The City understands that this will be a change for many of the City’s mobility challenged residents and visitors and want to provide a period of time for both to adjust to the changes in the parking policy to ensure a successful transition.
1. Why is the City changing its policy on Disabled Parking?
The City of Birmingham operates its public facilities, including streets, in accordance with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The City is revising its ADA parking policy due to changes in the federal ADA law.
2. What are the changes in the federal ADA law and how is this different than current policy?
Under these new regulations, all cities will be required to provide reserved, marked accessible spaces at the ratio of at least one parking space per 25 that already exist on any city block, to be implemented whenever a street improvement (such as paving or resurfacing) is conducted by the City. Under these requirements, the City will be adding approximately 70 dedicated on-street handicap accessible parking spaces. Now that the City will provide dedicated accessible spaces, the spaces will be metered and subject to time limitations and fees.
3. When will this new policy take effect?
The City hopes all of the 70 spaces are constructed by the first week in November, 2016. Once all of the accessible parking spaces are clearly marked and ready for use, the police department will begin temporarily issuing warnings to violators that will consist of a warning ticket accompanied by a reminder card detailing the nature of the violation.
4. How were the locations for the accessible parking spaces chosen?The following criteria were used in identifying the accessible parking locations:
5. Why can’t I park at the yellow curb anymore?
The yellow curb is a designated no parking zone and will no longer be available for handicap accessible parking as designated spaces will now soon be available. Individuals choosing to park there with or without a disabled parking permit will be given a grace period first and then ticketed. With a disabled parking permit, you MAY park at at either the designated blue handicap accessible parking spots OR at any other meter in the city and be subject to the appropriate time limitations and parking fees.
6. Where will I be able to park in the City if I have a disabled parking permit?
If you have a disabled parking permit, you must now park within set time limits and pay parking associated fees.
You have 3 options:
Option 1: Park in any designated accessible parking meter on the street, or
Option 2: Park in any open parking space on the street closest to where you need to go.
Option 3: Park in any City parking structure, which include designated handicap accessible spaces.
7. Won’t this change make it more inconvenient for handicap accessible parking?
No. This change will provide more reserved, designated handicap accessible parking than ever before offered in Birmingham. Currently, there are no designated handicap accessible parking places in the downtown. This change will designate approximately 70 on-street handicap accessible spaces throughout the downtown. You may still park in regular spaces if there is a closer space available, but all parking is subject to time limitations and parking fees.
8. What are the benefits of this new policy?
There will be more designated handicap accessible parking spaces than before, and spaces will be available on every block within the downtown. Only persons with disabled parking permits will be allowed to park in these reserved spaces.
9. What if I have a yellow sticker on my disabled parking permit?
If you have a state-issued yellow sticker on your disabled parking permit, all fees for parking will be waived consistent with state law. However, you will no longer be able to park at yellow painted curbs designated as no parking zones. You may park in either the designated blue handicap accessible parking spots OR at any other meter in the city without paying parking fees.
10. Where can I get more information?Central Business District ADA Parking Plan here.