Parking Permit Process for Handicapped Persons
WHEREAS, The process for obtaining a parking permit from the New York City Department of Transportation ("DOT") takes up to one year with no provision in place for issuing a temporary permit to handicapped persons in need of immediate accommodation; and
WHEREAS, Parking permits issued by the New York State Department of Transportation are not valid for use by handicapped persons within the City of New York; and
WHEREAS, DOT is responsible for issuance of permits for use by handicapped persons for on-street parking within the City of New York, with input from and assistance of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene ("DHMH"); and
WHEREAS, The process for obtaining a City-issued permit is cumbersome and wasteful in that the City requires both a certification of disability by the handicapped person's physician and a separate medical examination, by a City-paid doctor, prior to issuance of a permit (in contrast, a State-issued permit requires solely a certified statement by the handicapped person's physician); and
WHEREAS, The time involved in obtaining a City-issued permit is unreasonably long in that the initial processing time is frequently as long as four (4) months which - when added to the time required to schedule the examination with the City's doctor, plus the additional post-examination time to obtain the actual permit - can be six (6) months or longer (in contrast, a State-issued permit is generally issued within one (1) to three (3) weeks from submission of an application); and
WHEREAS, In accordance with DOT regulations, handicapped parking permits are issued only to those persons who "require the use of a private vehicle for transportation" and who "have a severe, permanent disability that impairs mobility as certified by [their] personal physician"; and
WHEREAS, The failure of DOT and DHMH to issue permits for six (6) months or longer results in severe hardship to severely disabled persons; and
WHEREAS, The imposition by DOT and DHMH of the requirement for an additional medical examination by a City-paid physician results in increased delays and hardship upon severely disabled persons, the unnecessary additional costs of which are borne by the City's taxpayers; and
WHEREAS, DHMH is charged by the New York City Charter to set parameters for the certification of disabilities, and DHMH has elected to require the duplicative, time-consuming, cumbersome and wasteful process described above; and
WHEREAS, DHMH has informed this Board that there is "no legal requirement that an applicant for a [handicap permit] obtain a certified statement from [his or her] own physician," yet the handicap permit application published by the City on DOT's website states that an applicant "must have a severe, permanent disability that impairs mobility as certified by [the applicant's] personal physician..."; and
WHEREAS, Repeated questions and requests for information to DOT and DHMH regarding the handicap permit application process have not been answered; and
WHEREAS, The needs of severely disabled persons who require private vehicle transportation are not being met by the process and procedures currently imposed by DOT; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends that not later than one (1) week from receipt of a completed application containing a certified statement of disability by the applicant's personal physician, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issue a temporary handicap parking permit, which permit may be subject to rescission upon a finding by DHMH's physician, following subsequent examination, that the certified statement of disability by the applicant's personal physician was false or materially incorrect; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends that the Department of Transportation and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene revise their processes and procedures for the issuance of handicapped parking permits by: (i) eliminating the requirement for an additional, separate medical examination by a City-paid physician, and (ii) processing all applications in order to assure that those applicants that are found to satisfy the requirements for such permits are issued the permits within the same - and not longer than - fixed period of time from receipt of a completed application (which time period shall be shorter than the term of the temporary permit issued to such applicants).
The above resolution passed with a vote of 35 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstaining.