If the voters of Los Angeles have the opportunity to weigh in on this, it will probably win with flying colors.
The folks behind the Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative, who were invited by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti to be part of a "Working Group on Parking Reform," say they're presenting a proposal to cap parking tickets at $23 to the group today.
The Parking Freedom people say the $23 limit is based on "the Bureau of Labor Statistics median hourly wage," which is better than basing the cost on how much money you rob can people for, the current metric.
The cap is part of a grander "parking system reform plan" that Parking Freedom says it will bring to the first meeting of the mayor's working group today.
Among the proposal's "essential components:"
* Caps fines for violation of regulations which have no public safety component at the Bureau of Labor Statistics median hourly wage (currently $23.00)
* Establishes the Los Angeles Parking Services Administration, encompassing the current city offices pertaining to parking policy and administration
* Traffic Officers will be neighborhood-centric liaisons between the city and the public operating with a clear public service mandate
* Creates a neighborhood stakeholder based input and review process for the establishment and alteration of local parking regulations and fees
* Separates parking ticket revenue from the general fund by placing it in the Special Parking Revenue Fund (SPRF)
* New Special Parking Revenue Fund becomes a strategic transportation infrastructure investment trust
The plan is designed to be "revenue neutral" or "even revenue positive" for City Hall. But we can't imagine it will bring in the millions that tickets do today.
We asked the mayor's office if it had a response, and the answer was not yet.
The group says that if it doesn't get its way it will bring its ideas directly to the voters:
To the extent the City of Los Angeles does not adopt these effective and necessary reforms, we will craft a municipal ballot measure, collect the required signatures, and place it on the ballot for a vote by the citizens. Currently we are targeting the March 2015 election.
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Can't wait. (Because there's no way in hell City Hall is going to willingly allow $23 tickets). Until then, happy motoring.
[Added at 12:33 p.m.]: Vicki Curry of the mayor's office weighed in today with this statement:
We know that parking tickets are frustrating for Angelenos and we are looking forward to meeting with the working group to address citation issues and look at ways to apply technology to help people find parking and avoid tickets.