Chief of Police
45 Center Street
Burlington, MA 01803
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Burlington Police Department Announces Success of Holiday Handicap Parking Enforcement Program
Proactive Campaign Meant to Prevent Misuse of Disabled Parking Spaces During Holiday Shopping Rush
BURLINGTON — Police Chief Michael R. Kent is pleased to announce that the Burlington Police Department is in the final stages of an enforcement program meant to ensure that the disabled are able to properly access designated parking spaces during the holiday shopping and travel times.
Chief Kent assigned two officers per day for 10 days immediately before and after Christmas to enforce Disabled Parking laws throughout Burlington, including at the town’s busiest shopping centers and the Burlington Mall.
Operation Access saw the Burlington Police Department issue 154 Disabled Parking Violation Tickets and 15 tickets for the misuse of a Disabled Parking Placard by a person not named on the placard.
“Disabled Parking spaces exist to provide those with limited mobility a fair and equitable opportunity to shop, dine, and enjoy all that Burlington has to offer. It is not meant to provide a close parking spot to someone who doesn’t feel like walking a few extra yards,” Chief Kent said. “I am very pleased with these results and proud of men and women of the Burlington Police Department for adopting this program over the holiday season.”
The Operation Access program was headed by Sergeant Gerard McDonough in the police department, in cooperation with the Burlington Disability Access Commission.
“It is disappointing that this pilot program was such a success, because it means a lot of people are violating the law,” said Bob Hogan, Chair of the Burlington Board of Selectmen. “Abuse of Disabled Parking Spaces is wrong, and it goes against the very spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was passed to ensure that the disabled have the same access to programs, services, stores, and restaurants as everyone else.”
The 169 total tickets issued represents a nearly 60 percent increase in December full-month Disabled Parking Space Violation tickets in just 10 days. Over the last two years, the Burlington Police Department issued an average of 100 such tickets each December.