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Enforcing Handicapped Parking Compliance

To the Editor:

The response of the Police Commission and the Newtown Police Department to the increase in excessive vehicle speeds in the borough has been clear, and is appreciated.  There have been noticeable efforts to reduce the speed of cars and trucks as they travel roads in the high population density areas of Newtown. The noticeable “Speed of Travel” displays, traffic counters, and police presence, all have, and will, go a long way in reducing the excessive speeds that have become all too common place in the borough, and throughout Newtown. Hopefully, there will be an ongoing police presence of some degree. This is a fine example of an appropriate response to an issue that affects the safety of Newtown residents. A Tip of the Hat to the Police Commission and to the Police Department!

Kudos also to the owners and operators of the Queen Street Shopping Center, for the recent clear designation of “Handicapped Parking Spaces”, and the creation of two “Handicapped Parking Spaces” near Dunkin Donuts and Salon Michelle, and for clearly marking in bright yellow angled lines, those areas that are not designated for parking. The signs will be a benefit to those of us who have physical limitations, and benefit from handicapped parking. The yellow angles lines designating a non-parking space, help to keep the fire lane clear.

Unfortunately, when the first handicapped parking sign was placed near Dunkin Donuts (before the painting of the handicapped spaces), it was vandalized and pulled from the ground and disappeared. If you agree or disagree with the handicapped designations, there is a process to follow, not mob rule. Apparently, Newtown is not Nicer in all aspects. It would be wise to cement in the new signs, and for the police to monitor the new handicapped parking spaces near Dunkin Donuts. Let's hope there is not an “accident” which would cause the painted handicapped designation (wheelchair and blue lines) to be covered in “spilled” paint, as strange as that may seem!

There are those who have, and will continue to park their vehicles over the bright yellow diagonal lines (formerly white diagonal lines), and to utilize that area as a private parking area. It would be appropriate for the Police Commission, and for police officers to monitor the parking near Dunkin Donuts. This would be in an effort to assure compliance with state regulations pursuant to handicapped permit parking only in the handicapped spaces.  Also, to assure that the fire lane remains clear and that the access to the rear of Dunkin Donuts, Salon Michelle, and the CVS Drive-Up as designed by the architects and approved by the Newtown Planning and Zoning Commission.

Sincerely,

Richard A. English

3 Curry Drive, Newtown                    October 28, 2013

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