In some ways Los Angeles is becoming New York in the 1970s, a city of crumbling streets with a bully of a City Hall that could care less about constituents or justice.
Pot holes crack your wheels and eat your tires, traffic cops are quick to give fund-raising tickets, and parking citations are just part of the high price of living here.
But state Assemblyman Mike Gatto plans to right at least one wrong in the mean metropolis:
Gatto this week introduced legislation that will prohibit L.A. City Hall from doing what it does -- namely ticketing you for parking in a spot with a broken meter.
You see, last year the state legislature tried to do the right thing by outlawing the practice.
But it left the door open for cities that were addicted to the funds broken-meter tickets raise. All municipalities had to do was pass specific laws allowing the ticketing to continue. L.A. did just that, of course.
City Hall has rarely met a ticket or fee it didn't like.
Gatto, an assemblyman from L.A.'s northeast communities, wants to shut that door again. His legislation would prohibit cities from ticketing folks who park at broken meters for the maximum time that would have been allowed had the meter been good.
According to a statement from his office:
Gatto's bill would close this loophole and protect individuals from cities and counties that are overzealous in their parking enforcement.
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It's just wrong for cities to ticket people who want to park at a meter that the city has failed to fix. Or to force a motorist to drive around or park in a paid lot when a perfectly good spot on the street is available.