Drivers with disabilities will pay to park in Hartford - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Drivers with disabilities will pay to park in Hartford

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Disabled drivers will be charged for parking in Hartford (WFSB) Disabled drivers will be charged for parking in Hartford (WFSB)

Right now, many disabled Hartford residents are accusing city leaders of putting dollars and cents above kindness and compassion. 

From now on in Hartford, people with disabilities will have to pay to park using kiosks. 

That might not sound like a big deal but some people living with disabilities say it’s a long way to the kiosks to just avoid a ticket.

On Monday at the City Council meeting, residents with disabilities said they are ashamed of their hometown.

“I think it's terribly unfair,” said Harry Lichtenbaum, who is upset about the new law.

As a disabled person himself, he feels it's unjust because it can forces disabled to walk a great distance to pay which isn't always easy for them.

“They are doing this on the backs of the elderly, the disabled, the people on fixed income, the people who are poor, we need money this isn't the way to get it,” Lichtenbaum said.

The Parking Commission claim they created the law to curb widespread handicap parking fraud but critics contend it’s all about Hartford’s fiscal crisis.

Disabled parkers who don't use the kiosks are subject to a $45 fine. They can use an app to pay but obviously, not everyone has a smart phone. 

City Council President TJ Clarke says he'll discuss the issue with the commission but it’s their call.

“I think that they should take some things into consideration but at the end this is a decision by the Hartford Parking Authority so we have to respect that,” Clarke said.

Lichtenbaum feels that because the state issues disabled parking placards, the city shouldn't worry about fraud enforcement. 

He says in their efforts to catch scam artists they are hurting an army of the city's most vulnerable.

“They’ve got to find another way to do it, because this way they're penalizing the honest people as well as the dishonest people I hate to think that that's the way the world is but maybe it is,” Lichtenbaum said.

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