For well over 12 hours, an accessible parking spot on Halifax’s peninsula was made unavailable by an illegally-parked trailer.
The trailer left those with disabilities who regularly use the spot searching to find on-street parking elsewhere. One woman says that brings its own risks.
“It’s a real danger for one,” said April Hubbard, a wheelchair user. “I may have to get out in a spot that’s not safe for me to do so into traffic and it can be a real safety issue.
“Or, I have to cross in a street where there’s no crosswalk and it’s really dangerous, because traffic can’t see me really well.”
Hubbard says there are two accessible parking spots on the street by her apartment and they are frequently used by other disabled people who live in the neighbourhood.
When Hubbard saw one of them was occupied by the trailer, she immediately called the municipality.
The municipality says an enforcement officer did respond and that the trailer wasn’t there.
According to Hubbard, though, that never happened.
“I was hoping that they’d come ticket, or maybe even tow the trailer because those spots are really important for us and none of that seemed to happen,” she said.
The municipality is investigating the incident and say 311 is the number to call whenever someone is illegally parked in an accessible spot.
“With accessible spaces it is a priority for us, so we will issue a ticket immediately if we do see someone parked in a spot that they shouldn’t be,” said Brendan Elliott, a senior communications advisor with Halifax Regional Municipality.
Hubbard says she phoned 311 mid-afternoon on Thursday, and when the trailer was still there several hours later, she attempted to track down the company who owned it.
She ended up contacting Schooner General Contracting and eventually received a call back the next day.
“They got back to me at 8 o’clock this morning. The manager was very apologetic and I had a great conversation actually with him about why it was important that nobody park there,” Hubbard said.
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Global News contacted Schooner for a comment but has yet to receive a response.
Overall, Hubbard says she is happy the issue is resolved and hopes the incident makes people think before they park in accessible spots without a permit.
“I realize it’s frustrating when you’re trying to run in and do your own errands, but I hope that they really think about why those spots are there and leave them for the people who really need them,” she said.