An Open Letter to the Centre Region Council of Governments

An Open Letter to the Centre Region Council of Governments

Incubated at the Aspen Tech Policy Hub

May 6th, 2024

SUBJECT: COG should work with healthcare providers to promote their participation in the temporary handicapped parking placard issuance program

Dear Members of the Centre Region Council of Governments,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to address a significant concern affecting temporarily disabled individuals in our community, including myself, following a personal injury that resulted in a broken hand.

It has come to my attention that local healthcare providers do not issue temporary disability parking placards. This oversight compels those affected to navigate the burdensome process of acquiring such placards through PennDOT, involving mail-in applications and unnecessary delays. Such delays exacerbate the daily challenges faced by those temporarily disabled, impacting their mobility and independence.

Considering the Pennsylvania Temporary Placard Issuance Program for Health Care Facilities initiated in 2018, it is disheartening to see the lack of participation from our local health institutions. Enabling immediate issuance of temporary placards at healthcare facilities would provide significant relief by reducing waiting times and administrative burdens.

I propose the following local solution: the COG should facilitate discussions and encourage local healthcare providers to enroll in this program. This initiative would:

  1. Reduce pressure on individuals experiencing temporary disabilities by alleviating unnecessary stress and mobility issues.
  2. Save processing time and resources since the requirement for a physician’s certification remains constant, whether processed through PennDOT or directly at the healthcare facility.
  3. Enhance the efficiency and utilization of available handicapped parking spaces, ensuring they serve those in immediate need.

Our community prides itself on inclusivity and support for all its members, and by addressing this oversight, the COG can greatly improve the quality of life for temporarily disabled residents. I trust that the Centre Region COG will consider this proposal seriously and act swiftly to make our community more accommodating and responsive to the needs of its temporarily disabled members.

For further reference on PennDOT's current processes and guidelines regarding temporary disability placards, please see the linked handout:

Thank you for considering this important matter. I am hopeful for a positive response and am ready to assist in any way to facilitate this change.

Warm regards,

Jeffrey Samuel Schulman Jr.