Making sense of disabled parking signage

Making sense of disabled parking signage

Credit: Getty Images

Making sense of disabled parking signage

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by Ed Teachout, KGW Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @KGWNews

kgw.com

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 21 at 9:05 AM

PORTLAND -- Reverend Allan Beck is speaking out loud and clear about what he calls unclear and confusing disabled parking signs.

“Let’s get it fixed up for our seniors so we’ve got the proper signage to protect them,” said Beck.

In June he got a $450 citation for parking in a striped area next to a disabled parking spot, one that clearly wasn’t clear.

“That would be too faded to enforce,” said Clyde Harmon, a disabled parking enforcement officer.

What’s even more unclear is whether the blue disabled parking sign next to the striped spot he parked in was turned the correct way.

Turned one way and it’s the spot opposite where Beck parked that is now a disabled parking spot.

“I went into the Expo and the sign was turned around (so the blue side of the sign was not visible). I come back out and there’s a $450 ticket on my window and that sign has turned blue,” said Beck. “It was this way when I went in and it was the other way when I came back out."

Still, Beck is confident a judge will dismiss his ticket once he shows them his evidence.

What's also very confusing is the disabled law itself. For a disabled parking spot to be legal it has to be built according to county code, which says it has to have a blue sign stating the law and the international disabled logo clearly displayed on the parking spot itself.

But when it comes to writing you a ticket, Harmon said only one or the other has to be visible. “It’s a sign or the spot marked, one or the other. But it’s not necessary to have both to get a ticket,” he said.

Beck says what confuses him even more is that he has a valid disabled sign hanging from his rear view mirror, and at the time he got the ticket he says he also had an exhibitioner's sign hanging there.

Then there’s confusion over just how much Beck should be charged. Had he parked in the front of the Expo Center, the sign says the fine for parking with a valid disabled permit is $300.

But disabled signs in the rear of the center say the fine is $470.00. Officer Harmon says the fine is actually only $160, since the legislature changed the law last session.

Bottom line: When in doubt, don’t park in any spot that has any markings resembling disabled parking. If you have a disabled parking permit make sure you park in the right spot, not on those striped lines, which universally mean no parking.

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