News / Press
ParkHouston’s New Online Training Fights Disabled Parking Abuse
May 16, 2022 -- The City of Houston is pleased to announce a new online course for residents interested in volunteering to help prevent the abuse of parking spaces reserved for people with disabilities. Through its public parking management team, ParkHouston, the City will offer virtual training modules to allow Houstonians 24-hour access to complete the Volunteer Parking Enforcement certification at their convenience. Until now, this training was only offered in person or through fixed-schedule online courses.
“Our volunteers make a significant impact on the City of Houston’s efforts to keep our City accessible for all residents by keeping ADA parking spaces available for those who truly need them,” said Maria Irshad, Assistant Director, ParkHouston. “Since we have volunteers across the city, there is a greater chance that a volunteer will be able to observe and address this type of parking violation in their neighborhood than a Parking Compliance Officer who has over 665 square miles to patrol.”
With their generous donation of time and dedication, volunteers help the City of Houston protect the quality of life for the disabled community. In 2021, ParkHouston digitally trained more than 100 new volunteers for the Mayor's Volunteer Initiatives Program. Last year, these volunteers issued more than 80% of the citations to violators who illegally parked in spaces designated for people with disabilities. The Texas Transportation Code authorizes cities across Texas to train volunteers to enforce abuse of ADA parking spaces.
“Our office recognizes and thanks the volunteer team trained by ParkHouston for their tireless effort in maintaining the use of accessible parking spaces for people with disabilities.” said Gabe Cazares, Director of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. “We encourage Houstonians to take part in these new training courses to ensure access across the city is preserved.”
In the four-hour training course, volunteers are empowered to issue citations, handle conflict, and become ambassadors for Houston. Volunteers must be 18 years of age, have a valid Texas ID, and pass a criminal background check. For more information or to register to become a volunteer, visit www.houstontx.gov/parking/volunteer.html.
The mission of ParkHouston is to be a solution-focused partner that supports Houstonians through programs that support public safety, quality of life, sustainability, and economic development.