Accessible Parking and DOT Grant Money

By Helen Sullivan, APR, Fellow PRSA

If you want to help make accessible parking more accessible, the U.S. Department of Transportation may have money available to support your efforts, but hurry because the funding opportunity closes January 6, 2020.

At the DOT Access and Mobility for All Summit a few weeks ago, a few announcements by Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao were relevant to parking and mobility professionals.

I was invited to attend the event as a representative of the IPMI-led Accessible Parking Coalition. This invitation-only event was attended by several hundred, but I was also invited to participate in a special pre-Summit session of only 50 attendees who were asked to help DOT refine their definition of Complete Trips–which did not include parking, curbside management, etc.–so good to have a seat at that table!

Check out this YouTube video featuring what David Capozzi, executive director, U.S. Access Board, said about the Accessible Parking Coalition while on one of the general session panels.

Boasting aside, some of the DOT grant money that may be available to IPMI members dovetails perfectly with the APC Local Pilot Program we are launching in 2020. The premise of our APC program is for the APC to serve as a model, catalyst, and partner, encouraging IPMI members to form local coalitions of stakeholders to work on solutions related to eliminating disabled placard/plate abuse and other parking issues for people with disabilities. These local coalitions would be affiliates of the APC, earning the right to use a customized variation of the APC logo and to work with APC Founding Members to provide connections to local advocacy groups for people with disabilities, local DMVs, etc.

Learn more about the Federal Transit Administration’s 2020 Mobility for All Pilot Program, which their website describes as a program that “seeks to improve mobility options and access to community services for older adults, individuals with disabilities, and people with low incomes.  The $3.5 million initiative will fund projects that enhance transportation connections to jobs, education, and health services.” This FTA funding opportunity closes January 6, 2020. A two-hour webinar with more information about this funding opportunity occurred last week, but you can access an archived recording here.

Sounds to me as though the APC Local Pilot Program fits in quite nicely with the mission of the FTA’s Mobility for All Pilot Program, right?

For inspiration and potentially FTA-fundable program ideas, download and read APC’s 24-page Let’s Make Accessible Parking More Accessible: A Practical Guide to Addressing Disabled Placard Abuse and Other Issues for People with Disabilities.

Helen Sullivan, APR, Fellow PRSA, is director of IPMI’s Accessible Parking Coalition.