A citizen complained to the Ombudsman de Montréal in order for the city to grant, in front of his residence, a reserved parking for persons with disabilities, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. This request aimed at allowing the paratransit service vehicles he uses to park in front of his residence. According to this citizen, such a parking space would allow him to access the paratransit vehicle more easily.

The borough had always refused to give effect to the citizen’s request, which was submitted repeatedly.

In this borough, the allocation of parking or landing spaces reserved for persons with disabilities is regulated by a policy, aimed to assure people with disabilities, a safe and easy access to their transport vehicle, whether it is a personal vehicle or a paratransit vehicle. According to this policy, the city reserves a parking zone, in front of the residence of a person with disabilities, only if there is no other access available nearby, allowing this person to have a safe and easy access to the vehicle.

We arranged a meeting with the citizen, borough officials, as well as a representative of Société de transport de Montréal (STM).

The STM representative showed up to the meeting with a paratransit vehicle identical to the ones used by the citizen, a fortunate initiative which helped a great deal in the understanding of the situation.

The STM representative proceeded to the demonstration of the method followed by the STM drivers. It quickly appeared that this procedure, according to which the driver immobilizes its vehicle in the street, in a 45 degree angle, was the safest. The vehicle is blocking the traffic and, at the time of transport of the wheelchair, the driver and citizen are protected by the paratransit vehicle.

If the vehicle parked in a reserved space, in front of the residence as the citizen requested, the safety risks for him and the driver would be greatly increased. To access the ramp, the wheelchair would be in the street, while other vehicles are circulating.

The Ombudsman de Montréal therefore concluded that all of the entities had acted in the best interest of the citizen and that there was no reason to request a reserved parking space, in front of his residence.

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