Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles responds to your ‘Ask The Mayor’ questions: Handicapped Parking

The following is an ‘Ask The Mayor’ question submitted to TLS, and the Mayor’s response. Email your questions for the Mayor to [email protected]


Good Morning Honorable Mayor Coles,

Thank you for your outstanding leadership for all these years in our diverse Lakewood Community.

I am handicapped and face several issues every day in Lakewood. I decided to look up the Pertinent Laws from the American Disability Act and The State of New Jersey and this is what I found.

The institution and enforcement of these laws would alleviate my situation as well as the many others that constantly find themselves in the same predicament.


  • _ Prohibit parking motor vehicles in handicapped
  • spaces without a special vehicle identification
  • card; mandate initial and subsequent fines of
  • $250 each and up to 90 days of community
  • services (C.39:4-197.(3)c).
  • _ Authorize municipalities to establish handicapped
  • spaces in front of residences, schools,
  • hospitals, public buildings, and in shopping
  • and business districts (C.39:4-197.5).
  • _ Authorize municipalities to establish handicapped
  • parking zones in front of residences occupied by people
  • with disabilities, unless such parking interferes with the
  • flow of traffic (C.39:4-197.6).
  • _ Enable enforcement officers to enforce handicapped parking
  • laws on both public and private property (C.39:4-138.o).
  • _ Authorize municipalities to set up parking enforcement
  • units that concentrate on shopping centers and malls
  • (C.39.4-197.9).
  • _ Authorize eligible people with disabilities to request law
  • enforcement officers to arrange for the removal and storage
  • of motor vehicles unlawfully parked in handicapped parking
  • spaces or zones (C.39:4-207.7).

Many shopping centers and shopping malls do not meet the following requirements:

Q: How many accessible parking spaces are required?

A: It depends on the total number of parking spaces in the lot

or garage. The New Jersey Barrier Free Subcode and the

Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines

(ADAAG) both require the following number of handicapped

spaces in parking areas:

Total # of spaces

Required # of accessible spaces




















2% of total

Over 1,000

20 + 1 for each 100 over 1,000 

Too many times we will be told:



Never park in a space “reserved” for people with disabilities UNLESS you have a permit, placard or handicapped parking plates. It’s the courteous thing to do – – and it’s the law. REMEMBER: Do not park in the striped access aisles next to spaces reserved for people with disabilities, even if you have a permit or plates. Access aisles provide room for wheelchair users to transfer safely to and from their vehicles.

We would appreciate it if these laws were enforced.

Thank you,

Physically Challenged Resident

Please do not use my name, Thank you.

Response from Mayor Coles:


I share your concern over folks improperly using handicap parking spaces. I learned this first hand last spring, when my wife had foot surgery and could not walk for 2 months following the operation. It is not just the location of these spots, but the extra width, which allows someone using a wheelchair or walker to easily get into & out of their vehicle. I agree, there is no excuse to use them if you don’t need it. I was very proud of my wife when she stopped using the spots, despite still being in pain when she walked and having a valid permit because she wanted to make sure they were available for someone who really needed it.

If you are aware of any establishments that do not meet the criteria, please let me know & I will look into it. Having adequate Handicap spots is part of the approval process for commercial establishments. If they get painted over or not marked properly we will work to bring them into compliance.



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  1. I Agree totally. I am a senior citizen, Disabled Veteran with Handicap Placard and we need more places around our Town to Park and yes by schools and on the streets. Thanks.

  2. I am constantly disappointed in my community members doing this. I get angry when I see someone doing it, and rather than enter into a confrontation which might escalate, I usually just keep my mouth shut. Last mishna in Peah says that someone who pretends to be handycapped will not die before actually becoming handycapped himself. (paraphrased) I heard rabbi paysach Krohn scream about people doing this… All I have to say is chilul Hashem. Please don’t.

  3. Problem is everywhere. No enforcement both private and public properties across the state. Public and private Schools. Shopping strips and malls, places of assembly…

  4. The worse part is if a handicapped person complains, it’s lashon hara.

    Please, people, stop and think if it was your mother/ spouse/ child in need of that spot. When I see a handicapped space open and I have to walk half a parking lot, B”H that I have two good legs to carry me past that spot.

    And please, builders, stop constantly looking for a variance to your parking lot so that you can handle one extra customer instead of leaving the spot for someone who really needs it.

  5. In reference to the municipal parking lot next to the municipal building – How many parking spaces are there? How many handicap spaces are there?

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