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City of Edmonton cutting back on free parking for people with disabilities

The cameras can scan licence plates to check for payment, but they can't identify disability parking placards, which have served until now as free passes in the zones for up to two hours. "We are committed to improving accessible parking for Edmontonians and their families, and appreciate your patience and understanding as we introduce this new parking technology," city operations manager Gord Cebryk wrote in a June 13 letter to placard holders. "We are committed to improving accessible parking" says @CityofEdmonton as they MASSIVELY REDUCE parking accessibility.

Funny how fancy new technology isn't capable of keeping things #accessible, eh? #accessibilityfail#yeg#yegtraffic#disability@doniveson pic.twitter.com/OXoQRL4VQf Many people with disabilities and their family members are criticizing the city's decision — and that line in the letter in particular — because they say the technology change will make parking less accessible for placard holders. "Don't say it's making things better when it's clearly not," Jan Lukas Buterman told CBC News on Monday. Buterman uses canes and crutches and has taken advantage of courtesy parking in EPark zones. He said the new system will make parking more costly and cumbersome for people with disabilities.  Nearly 100 marked accessible parking stalls in the city remain free for people with disabilities to use. But they can be hard to find, and some advocates complain they're an insufficient solution. "There are not very many spots that are available, especially downtown, and they're always full," said Lincoln Ho, who often drives his mother, a placard holder, downtown. Accessibility committee advised against change Members of the accessibility advisory committee, a group that reports to city council on issues affecting people with disabilities, advised against the change several times during talks with city officials over the past two years.

For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/city-edmonton-ends-free-parking-disabilities-epark-1.4713616

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