The Uni­ver­sity of New Mex­ico Park­ing and Trans­porta­tion Ser­vices (PATS) depart­ment will begin its second year of its "Accessible Parking Initiative" designed to safeguard the availability of accessible - also known as handicapped - parking spaces for legitimate users.

Beginning Monday, Nov. 7 PATS parking enforcement officers will be focusing on enforcing the governing State of New Mexico and University regulations related to the appropriate use of these spaces during random accessible parking compliance events.

"We want to ensure that individuals who have been issued handicapped placards have equal access to the campus," said Robert Nelson, PATS' interim director. "We have more than twice as many hand­i­capped park­ing spaces as required by the Amer­i­cans with Dis­abil­i­ties Act. How­ever, mobility-impaired indi­vid­u­als expe­ri­ence dif­fi­culty find­ing acces­si­ble park­ing spaces."

PATS officers are con­cerned with ille­gal park­ing in hand­i­capped spaces by users not dis­play­ing proper hand­i­capped per­mits or those fraud­u­lently using per­mits. During the random accessible parking compliance events, PATS parking enforce­ment offi­cers will ensure hand­i­capped per­mits are properly displayed, which includes visible display of the handicapped permit number and expiration date from the front of the vehicle. If the handicapped permit was issued recently, then the permit holder picture must also be clearly visible from the front of the vehicle. Enforcement officers will also be ver­i­fy­ing own­er­ship of hand­i­capped placards.

"We are committed to our mission to provide access to the campus for all students, staff, faculty, and visitors," said Nelson.

In addi­tion to hand­i­capped spaces, UNM PATS poli­cies also allow for hand­i­capped per­mit hold­ers to park in reg­u­lar zoned park­ing spots, in designated spaces in the Cor­nell and Yale park­ing garages, and in hourly parking spaces when the permit is properly displayed.

For more information contact: Danielle Gilliam, Program Specialist, 277-0461;

Media Contact: Benson Hendrix, (505) 277-1816; e-mail: