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City Of Austin Sued Over Downtown Handicapped Parking Spaces
A disabilities rights group is suing the city of Austin because it says there are not enough handicapped parking spaces downtown.
Jennifer McPhail faces challenges every day, but said the lack of handicapped spaces in Downtown Austin make life for her even more difficult.
"It's very difficult to be out and about and be active,” McPhail said. “You can only imagine a little old lady in a wheel chair or someone with oxygen how hard it must be for them to get in and out of the car."
McPhail is with ADAPT of Texas, a watchdog group for people with disabilities. ADAPT filed a lawsuit against the city claiming the number of accessible parking spots don’t comply with ADA regulations.
McPhail said Austin falls short of compliance and fears City Council’s parking proposals will take away even more handicapped spaces downtown.
“We want to ensure that people with disabilities are multi-mobile just like everybody else," McPhail said.
Councilman Chris Riley said it is a misunderstanding. Riley wants to eliminate parking requirements for development projects downtown and not eliminate street parking.
"It is certainly an issue, but we feel confident that the resolution we are considering would still result in an appropriate amount for everyone," Riley said. "They are still going to be required to provide 20 percent of that to disabilities."
By Cassie Gallo