L.A. Parking: The Final Frontier

I've always believed the title of Milovan Djilas'  memoir, Land Without Justice, was even more descriptive of Los  Angeles and its parking restrictions than the Yugoslavia of Djilas' youth. I've never understood why, for example, permitted parking (parking that does not permit uninvited non-residents to park on Los Angeles streets) is considered constitutional. Likewise, I can't see why perfectly usuable swaths of curb are increasingly painted red -- the reason's been explained to me by city engineers, but it only seems like a ruse to get more parking tickets.

Speaking of that, Hollywood Boulevard is now the realm of corner parking-token stations that have replaced individual meters, and I'd love to know how much money the city's raking in from motorists who haven't noticed the change, or who, with childlike trust, believe parking is free after 6 p.m. Even more disturbing is that I read an interesting post on L.A. Metblogs ("More Parking Palimpsests") and found I had absolutely no problem deciphering the mishmash of signage pictured with the blog. Scary -- clearly my brain has been hardwired by L.A.'s parking realities so that I now accept what should be considered unacceptable.

On a more reassuring note, a friend recently beat City Hall by having a parking ticket she'd received while voting, rescinded. She had to go through her City Council member to make it happen, but she stuck to her guns and won. Turns out it's legal to park within one block of a polling place on election day -- while ignoring parking meters, time-limit and street-sweeping  signs, and permitted parking zones!)

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