Los Angeles' parking ticket racket is just dastardly. Street sweeping days take away hours of morning parking for a few minutes' worth of dust. Failing to follow rules that aren't even posted could get your car towed. And City Hall has made it clear that the citations are a coveted revenue source.
One city leader is trying to end these days of evil, however.
Westside Councilman Mike Bonin this week proposed a package of new ordinances and practices that could make your life next to the curb so much nicer.
The highlight of his package of seven proposals is one that would put an end to increases in parking ticket fines (now about $63, depending) enacted "in order to fund other city services," Bonin's office says.
Bonin is asking the city Department of Transportation to ensure that fines "are only as high as necessary to get people to comply with parking rules," according to his office.
Another proposal would ask city experts to find out if there's technology that could help open up parking spaces lost to street sweeping hours sooner — as in right after a street sweeper has passed.
"Street sweeping tickets are one of the most frustrating parking tickets Angelenos receive," Bonin's office states. While it is important for people to move their cars so streets can be cleaned, receiving a ticket for parking on the street during the designated 'street sweeping hours but after the street sweeper has already passed makes no sense."
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Bonin also wants the following: an update to the city's five-year operation and maintenance plan as it pertains to parking; tracking every space in the city with a high-tech system "that can communicate with the public in real-time and replace the static parking regulations of today, such as curb paint and street signs;" expanding the Express Park system that charges rates based on demand; coordination with delivery trucks to maximize parking space; keeping more parking revenue in neighborhoods that generate it.
His office tells us that the seven motions that comprise Bonin's parking reform program were introduced this week and that they're expected to reach the City Council's Transportation Committee early next year.
"Parking in Los Angeles is a uniquely universal frustration for residents in neighborhoods, customers shopping at local businesses and visitors experiencing Los Angeles for the first time," Bonin said. "Far too often, people in Los Angeles feel like the price of parking tickets and the way they are issued is a symbol of a government that is on their backs instead of on their sides. We can do better."