In Rapid City “everyone pays for parking,” but should handicapped people have to?

Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 5:32 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Parking can sometimes be a pain.

Especially when spots are full near where you want to be, and then there’s the cost.

However, one of our viewers wondered if handicapped people should be exempt from those struggles here in Rapid City.

“Well everybody pays for parking in downtown Rapid City,” says Anna Gilligan, Rapid City’s Parking Operations Manager.

Some argument is that if you don’t have the means of running, walking or biking to where you need to go - should you have to have the added expense of paying for parking if driving is the only option?

A complex issue, that isn’t so black and white, because “everybody’s disability is different,” says a Disabled Veteran who’d rather not be named parked in downtown Rapid City.

Generally, they believe, “disabled people should pay for parking. You’re able to work still. Most people on disability are able to work. So, why not?”

Some people say that if disabled parking is full in a certain area, and further away parking that’s handicapped doesn’t have a route that’s accessible, the only options available require payment.

However, Rapid City has spots in both meter parking and dozens in the normally two-hour free parking zones. Where, Gilligan explains an exception is made for disabled persons, because “we don’t enforce any sort of time restriction on vehicles that have a valid ADA plate or placard.”

For some events, the city has waived handicapped parking fees in the past. If you do end up getting a ticket, sometimes, “where there is an unpaid meter in one of those ADA spaces,” if it’s a first offense, you might catch a break, because “the parking enforcement officer has the ability to see that and write it a warning instead of a citation.”

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