The L.A. City Council today put an end to parking tickets at broken meters.
Good riddance. The unanimous vote was 13-0. The motion by new Councilman Mike Bonin of the Westside reverses the city's policy of writing you up if a meter breaks down after you've dropped your quarters in it or if you park at one that's out like Lohan every morning:
The city made parking at a broken meter a ticket-worthy offense in 2010 and affirmed that position in 2012.
Although it was a clear moneymaker, the rule ostensibly was enacted to discourage people from beating on the meters to get free parking.
But with new, tougher digital meters that tell immediately the L.A. Department of Transportation when they're broken, the tickets are unnecessary, Bonin's office says.
In fact, after the city finished replacing all of its 38,000 meters with the new variety on Jan. 13, Bonin's office tells us, there have been no broken-meter tickets issued in L.A. before today's vote.
Only seven meters have broken down since then, representing only 12.5 hours offline, his office says. The new meters are 99.99 percent “efficient,” Bonin's folks say.
The council's vote seems to have preempted an effort in the state legislature to outlaw broken-meter tickets statewide, a proposal aimed squarely at L.A.
Still, a Bonin official says the unanimous halt to broken-meter tickets in town is “sending a message that government is not going to penalize people for something they didn't do wrong.”