la parking problems

Los Angeles Parking

la parking control

Street sweeping restrictions start in an hour and the tow truck is already waiting at the curb to start towing violators at exactly 12:01.

I once thought LA parking tickets were so expensive because parking is such a problem in Los Angeles that stiff penalties were required to keep it under control. However my observation is that LA has a huge financial incentive to keep legal parking spaces to a minimum.

“Stealth Towing” is a major issue in Los Angeles. So much so that a lawsuit has been filed against the city for towing cars when no posted notices of the violation the cars were towed for are to be found. A common one is to tow cars that have been in the same parking space for over 72 hours. This single “violation” of an unposted law resulted in 4539 cars being impounded at a profit to the city of $1.55 million.

Though the law requires signs be posted before a car can be towed, there are no signs in the city at all stating the 72 hour rule. The couple in the lawsuit had their car towed because they were taking the metro to work to help the environment. They now drive instead.  The plaintiff stated that it’s a gamble any time you park your car in Los Angeles.  I agree and though I read every sign before I walk away from my car, I breath a sigh of relief when I return to it and find it has not been towed or ticketed.

Last year the City of Los Angeles made over $148 million from parking tickets. And they are always looking for ways to get that income stream even higher. Hence, seeing “meter maids” lying in wait for the restricted hour to begin is a common site. I used to observe one out in Venice who would hide her car around the corner and stand in the shadows waiting for unsuspecting motorists to pull into a loading zone and run into the convenience store for a soda or pack of cigarettes. Kinda slimy if you ask me.

As long as making parking scarce is such big business for Los Angeles, we will see no improvement in parking conditions in the city.

la parking crisis
As long as it is insanely profitable to keep parking scarce in Los Angeles, the city will not take action to help alleviate parking problems.

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