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tv   [untitled]    November 19, 2013 3:00pm-3:31pm PST

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>> i've taken the presentations on this and read all the material, very thoughtful discussions among members of the community. one thing i was heard about is the impact this rollout would have on low income seniors and disabled seniors. someone should take a close look at how we can accommodate the needs of the low income folks. members ought to consider that perhaps as we go forward this afternoon we could do an amendment before
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voting if there is in fact support for that. thank you, good afternoon. >> good afternoon, chair nolan and board members and director riskin, my name is carla johnson and i am the interim director at the mayor's office on disability and our role is to service the city's overall ada compliance officer to make sure all our city services, programs and facilities are accessible as required under the ada and we consider parking to be just another program. we are here to share with you the recommendations from the accessible parking committee. this is a committee co-chaired by myself and ed risk rib, your director. with me today is going to be a co-presentor, bob planthold, many of you know bob already. bob is a disability advocate and also pedestrian safety advocate and a transportation advocate and we'll be doing our presentation together. we're going to start out with
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a short video. this is a video that will be available on the mta web site at sfmta.com/parking access. i'm hoping our captioner can keep up with us today but i know the version on the web site is also captioned. with that, we'll turn it over to the video. >> if making accessible parking work. >> i have cerebral palsy, consequently i use a wheelchair. i will look for the nearest blue zones i can unload the chair, if it's unavailable it's frustrated because i have a hard time getting in and out of the car. >> i had polio when i was 9 years old so i have walked with
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cufrps or braces all my life. parking is tight already and people are frustrated. i've noticed there are more and more people with disabled placards. i am blaipbd and i had a neighbor offer me $400 to use my placard when he drove into the city. it's seen as a way to get free parking. >> making accessible parking work. >> i have cerebral parking, kaupbs quepbltly -- consequently i use a wheelchair. >> we'll give that just a moment to see if we can get through the technical difficulties and if not we can
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switch over to the rest of our program. oblg, well why don't we move on to the rest of the program, then. >> back to the regular scheduling. control room, could i ask you please to bring up a powerpoint presentation for us? so we are here today to tell you a little bit about the committee work and the way that we're going to frame that discussion is first we'll describe the problem that the committee sought to address. then we'll give you some information about the process that the committee followed. following that, we'll share with you the actual recommendations that came from the committee, we'll tell you about some of the public outreach that we've done and then after that we'll discuss next steps. first, the problem. on the screen we see a photograph of a man who is seated behind the wheel of his vehicle. he is a
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person with a disability and we can tell that because by looking at him, he is driving his vehicle with hand controls. this man also has a parking placard hanging from his rear view mirror and what i want to emphasize in looking at this photo is that the person with the disability is not the problem, and the placard is not the problem, the problem is really that this man can't find the parking that he needs when and where he needs it close to his destination. and just for context, state law is actually what drives parking policy in california. and state law says that if a person is deemed eligible for a parking placard by their physician the dmv must issue a parking placard to that person and what that parking placard brings is the ability to park for free for unlimited time at either a general metered parking space, a blue zone, or
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a green zone. and our committee believes that that policy is not meeting its intended, meeting its intention of providing access for people with disabilities. now, to talk a little bit about the process i would like to turn things over to bob planthold. >> good afternoon, mr. planthold. >> so if we can go to the next slide, this lists the agencies that were composing this access dmit on parking. there were 14 agencies, 16 members. some of them are here today. carla and ed already have been introduced, your own director, christine that ripkin was on it, there's the chamber of commerce, etta james, roland wong also is present. i want you to get a feel that people
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with disabilities were vitally involved in the development of the analysis and the recommendations. we had 16 members, 9 of them had a disability. within the 16 member overall committee we had a steering committee and within the steering committee the majority of us also had a disability. i'm saying this to emphasize, to enforce, that it was driven by our own constituents. we did have supportive help from the dm vplt, i have to say, from the medical society, from any number of agencies but we really are trying to find a way to fix what some of us have felt is a broken system and a system that's easy to gain and that doesn't benefit us. we who have a disability need to be able to easily find parking and have parking that's near where we want to go to eat, to shop, whatever our issues, whatever our needs, our interests, we
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need to be able to get close to those destinations. it's important also to acknowledge that we came from different levels of information. some of us had very strong ideas about what might be acceptable solutions and what were unacceptable solutions. during the 6 months of our deliberations three of us changed our minds. this is regarding the issue of whether or not to ask the state to delete the exemption for meter payment. some of us said no, no, no, keep that for us. in the course of our questions, of our discussions of the research that staff did for us and that we asked staff to do additionally, we came to change our minds. and that's important so that you get a feel of this was a give and take process and it wasn't a
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slam-dunk from the beginning. i want to go on now to this next slide. here you see, as you saw someone in the video, pictures of cars with blue placards. that's helpful many times for us but sometimes it's also a question of how come we can't still find parking? so we can't find parking, there also isn't enough parking turnover to ensure that we can easily get close to our destination. and then unfortunately and regretablely, there is a public perception that people who have a hidden disability don't deserve a placard because they don't look disabled. that's a stereotype also that works against believing in the program. so we came up with several criteria to determine which group of policies, and we had 20 different suggestions, which would work best for san francisco. would it make it
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easier for people with disabilities to find parking in blue zones? would the policy make it easier for everybody, especially those of us with disabilities, to find parking in a general metered space and then would these solutions and policy reduce placard misuse? carla will take over for a while again. >> so this next slide that you see on the screen is a map of the united states and a little piece of canada. and what this map is meant to convey is representation of the 11 different cities that we looked at to review their best policies, best practice policies, for how they had addressed this problem. because the reality is that california is not alone in having this problem, san francisco is not alone in having this problem. some of the other cities that we researched included chicago, new york, arlington, virginia,
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houston, philadelphia, arizona, and each of these cities had tried to address this problem in the past and what we learned is that when we looked at the different best practices, when they tried to address the problem with enforcement only, they found that they really couldn't make a substantive change to the problem to increase access to parking for people with disabilities. and in looking at the different best practice policies what we also did was review interviews with disability advocates in those cities, people who had experienced the parking environment both before and after policy changes. and what we heard from those advocates was that it is pretty clear that all successful programs took an approach that had three key elements: provide more blue zones, in other words increasing the supply, conduct sufficient enforcement on placard use and blue zones and
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charge placards at meters. we learned the cities that implemented only one or two of those key elements were not successful. this next slide represents the committee's first recommendation and that was to increase the supply of blue zones. shown on the picture was a blue zone itself with the mta blands and increasing the number of blue zones is a local initiative. we don't have to go to the state to ask for any changes in state law to do that. one of the reasons why increasing the supply of blue zones is so important is that blue zones actually provide the highest level of access in the parking environment. blue zones are located on a relatively level surface, they have a clear space on the sidewalk adjacent to allow for a ramp van to be able to discharge
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their van and they have curb ramps it allow you to get from the street level on to the sidewalk. so increasing the number of blue zones, our recommendation was to take that to a 4 percent saturation level in san francisco. that would be a 70 percent increase in the number of blue zones in san francisco. we would be getting approximately 470 new blue zones. this is something that the mta has already committed to starting as a project, they have already begun the process of serving locations and blue zones city-wide and this is something that san francisco can initiate without going any further at the state level. this next recommendation is to increase the enforcement over placard misuse. what we're seeing on the photo is a
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vehicle parked with a blue placard but what's missing is the person that actually belongs it that placard. this illustrates what we learned to be a challenge for enforcement. during our committee discussions we heard from the parking control officers and we learned how time-consuming the process is to conduct enforcement. the peo's work as a team, they have to be able to interview either the driver or the person who is in possession of the placard in order to verify that they are using that placard legitimately. now what makes that difficult is that there may be a placard holder who is a passenger who is being driven to an appointment and that placard holder may actually be somewhere away from the vehicle, around the corner at that appointment. so just interviewing the driver
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actually isn't enough to confirm that that placard is being used properly. you have to be able to make the connection between the placard holder and the placard. this is time-consuming and occasionally even dangerous because some drivers are so invested in what they get from holding that placard. now, for me looking at this recommendation increasing enforcement you heard bob mention that many of us came to the committee with an opinion on this matter and i started out with the opinion that enforcement was really the only solution to the problem. but what i learned over the deliberations of the committee is that while enforcement is a very important part of the solution, in and of itself enforcement over placard misuse can't actually solve the problem. the committee agreed that requesting more enforcement might include increasing the number of parking control officers that enforce placards,
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increasing stings, conducting outreach regarding placard enforcement and considering a volunteer program. i want to point out that this recommendation also does not require any changes at the state law level. this is a program that the city can implement locally. this is something that the mta has actually already begun, that they have added 33 additional pco's to the disabled placard detail and now we have 14 pco's and a supervisor who dedicate all their time to enforcing placard misuse. also to make it easier for the ofrsers to do their investigations we recommend the department of motor vehicles should make placard holder photograph available so the officers will have an easier time matching the person to the placard.
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. >> in this third slide what you see is a dmv site. what i think is important is they have a special parking place for accessible vehicles so a person who is going to get their license using an accessible vehicle can easily park. that's all to the good, but we say dmv needs to do more. you heard the suggestion that they need to find a way to link a picture to the placard. there's something else. we suggest that dmv upgrade its data base to include information about medical providers who certify placards. right now they have no way to track whether a clinic certifies 50 a week, 500 a week, one a month. their operating system is still doss, that's how antiquated
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their system is, but they need state money. we can only say please do that. the idea of having a record of how many placards a practitioner issues helps identify possible fraud. we've heard stories of places where you could go pay money and get a form already filled out and they just put your name it. no exam, pay your money and you get the form, send it in and you are going to get the blue placard. we also suggested d mplt v clarify the eligibility criteria on the dmv placard application. clarify it, but don't remove any existing criteria so that people understand they are to be issued for those who have a functional need for them. i'm saying that because here again dmv's may be inefficient or sloppy, we know of a person who had knee surgery so they should have had a red placard, a temporary one for 6 months.
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somehow that person got issued a blue placard, permanent. if dmv would clarify the requirements, that would help. remove the meter payment exemption. this slide shows the 50 states, they are in two colors, blue and gray. 35 states do charge for parking at meters even when you have a parking placard. amongst those states are florida and arizona. i specifically highlight those because a lot of people retire and move to those states. a lot of seniors live long enough they can age into a disability so the point is, those states are not having people move out, move away, because they are requiring people to pay at the meters. california is only one of 15 states that exempts people with placards from paying at the meters. but the placard is meant to increase parking
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access for us. the payment exemption reduces that because it encourages or allows people to park as long as possible, up until the street needs cleaning, which can be 3 days or a week in some parts of the city. it's also important that this is a disability accommodation. it's not an income-base the or economic benefit. the payment exemption started years ago because the parking technology then was not accessible. you had to be able to grasp coins, lift your hand, put it in a slot, turn a lever, you had to be able to do things that maybe you weren't able to do. now with technology, with smart phones that you can pay by phone with debit cards, with any number of modes and the plan to buy new meters with lowered heads so people can read what's the time frame you
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are buying, the technology now is accessible. other cities that went to requiring meter payment found it did help increase turnover. philadelphia is one of those major examples, but in my own town of st. louis also. i checked with some of my family and one runs a sheltered workshop so they are finding it's okay. but we're not suggesting this be done freely. we're suggesting that meter payment exemption ought to be coupled with a requirement that a town, city, county, could only do this if the parking technology was fully accessible so there's an if and only if before you can get to a possible local decision, and again this is all local option we're suggesting the state authorize. okay, so nobody would be forced

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