Town Might Ban Overnight Parking


Call it the ultimate Get Off My Lawn shout, but El Monte's city council is considering a ban on overnight parking.
According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the proposal has two things going for it: crime reduction and new revenue. The theory is that fewer cars on the street equals less crime. And the new revenue part? That comes from all the grateful citizens who get to pay $50 annually to park each of their vehicles in the street. (Apparently locals don't commit crimes, even when their cars are parked off site.)

The logic here seems a little stretched, if not flawed. Sure, we guess

that crime would go down when there are fewer cars around -- but only

because that results in fewer people being around. Why not just ban

people from walking the streets after dark, the way they were in "The

Pedestrian," an old Ray Bradbury story? Not only would there be fewer

potential criminals lurking about (residents could walk their own

streets -- for a fee, naturally), but there'd also be fewer victims inviting attacks.

It would seem to make even more sense to ban guns after nightfall

(except, you know, for those belonging to fee-paying residents), but

of course, those are much easier to conceal than cars. And there would

be the problem of the NRA.

The Trib article says the El Monte proposal isn't some

futuristic fantasy -- it's currently the law in 12 of 20 San Gabriel

Valley cities and had actually been in effect in El Monte until 1984,

when time-of-day street sweeping made it expendable. If passed, the

ordinance will create a self-sustaining bureaucracy to maintain the

program at about $100,000 per year. El Monteans will then be able to enjoy

evenings when, looking out from behind their curtains, they can

watch the intimidating cars of strangers get $30 tickets. Sweet.


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