MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Miami Beach residents have been complaining for months about people allegedly abusing disabled placards to park for free not just in public parking spaces, but in residential zones as well.
“I’ve seen valet people use a Rolodex of disabled placards to park restaurant-goers to their restaurants, I’ve seen bouncers,” Miami Beach resident David Suarez said.
It’s that alleged abuse of disabled parking permits in Miami Beach neighborhoods that a proposed new ordinance is hoping to stop.
“I have neighbors who come up to me who say I can’t find any parking. I have disabled neighbors who say
I can’t find any parking,” Suarez said.
Suarez lives in the city’s South of 5th Neighborhood and for months he’s documented what appears to be restaurant and nightclub workers using disabled placards to park for free not just in metered spots, but also residential spaces.
One video from 1st Street showed a total of 34 parked cars all displaying the permits.
Miami Beach city commissioner Mark Samuelian is one of four co-sponsors of the proposed ordinance which is up for a final reading and vote on Wednesday.
If approved, it would limit parking in residential zones to area residents, placard or not.
“What we’re going to do is allow Miami Beach residents to park in the Miami Beach residential zones. Folks with placards can park in a number of other areas,” said Samuelian.
Samuelian says the proposal is about improving resident quality of life and calls it a community-driven solution, with the help of the city’s disability access committee.