Sunday, January 4, 2009

State Wants Fines for Parking in MBTA Stops

451 at Walgreens, Salem (2) resized

According to Neighborhood Access Group and Starts and Stops, there is a bill on the Governor’s desk that would fine motorists who park at T bus stops.  The fine is $100, about in line with fines assessed for parking in HP spots.

Quoting the Globe article:

[Grabauskas] hopes a higher fine - coupled with enforcement by Transit Police and local forces - will help drivers remember. "We wanted to make sure people knew it was a serious matter, that was impacting the safety of all passengers," he said.

The inability to get to the curb is a top complaint of both passengers and bus drivers, Grabauskas said. The T has been training drivers to do a better job in that effort as part of the $310 million class-action settlement with disabled passengers in 2006, he said.

Still, members of the T Riders Union have continued to complain publicly about obstacles for disabled riders, including rude behavior from drivers and long distances to the curb. A spokesman for the riders' union could not be reached Friday.

Unlike parking at HP spots, parking at T stops tends to be short-term by drivers “just stopping for a minute”.  By the time the cops come to direct traffic, the cars are gone.  So I’m not the most optimistic.

In some ways, the courtesy of T drivers, or lack of, worries me more than the parking issues;  it is also something the T can do something about from management level downwards.  Good luck with that.

UPDATE:  Governor Patrick has signed the bill.

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