PARKING SANITY-Parking in LA is a nightmare of costly valets, complicated restrictions, and permit-only parking. If your apartment doesn’t include parking, you’ll likely rack up tickets when you hit the snooze bar instead of moving your car on those street sweeping days.
Councilmember Mike Bonin wants to change how parking is managed in LA. Building on the Los Angeles Parking Reform Working Group, Bonin submitted the LAPWG’s seven motions to the Council this week which will be submitted to the Transportation Committee and considered in early 2016.
“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,” said Bonin. “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 and this series of motions will help reform the way we think about parking in LA.”
Each of the proposals in the package are being introduced separately to fast track the legislative process. The components of the package include:
- Updating the Five-Year Plan: The Department of Transportation is charged with the task of submitting a “Five-Year Operations and Maintenance Plan” to the City Council each year to ensure adequate funding for maintenance, technology, repairs of parking structures, meters, and other assets. The LADOT has dropped the ball for years. Bonin’s first motion calls for the agency to resume reporting with annual plans to help the Council reform parking.
- Code the Curb: The second motion takes steps to complete an electronic inventory of the City’s parking assets, helping to move the city toward dynamic digital parking systems that can communicate with the public in real time and replace regulations like curb paint and street signs. These digital systems can enable mobile apps and signage to provide relevant information to drivers as they park.
- Ensure Fair Fines: The third motion would ensure the LADOT would report to the Council with data to support the level of fines rather than setting fines at higher rates in order to fund other city services. Fines would only be as high as they need to be in order to get people to comply with parking regulations.
- Expand Express Park: The City began to implement performance-based parking downtown in 2012 through the LA Express Park program, which sets the parking price based on demand. The pilot program has resulted in a decrease in the hourly rate for spaces along with an increase in revenue because more people are using the spaces. Bonin proposes an expansion of the program to include neighborhoods with high parking demand such as Venice, Hollywood, and Expo/USC.
- Coordinate Freight Parking: With the expansion of e-commerce, the frequency of delivery trucks in neighborhoods has impacted parking availability. Bonin’s fifth motion would coordinate with delivery companies to improve how delivery trucks park in neighborhoods.
- Fund Local Parking Improvements: The revenue generated by parking fines is now deposited in the Special Parking Revenue Fund (SPRF.) Bonin’s sixth motion would repeal the SPRF and create a Parking and Access Enterprise Fund to ensure the City uses parking revenue to implement hyperlocal infrastructure improvements.
- Reduce Street Sweeping Tickets: Plenty of Angelenos receive street sweeping tickets after the street sweeper has passed through the area. The final motion asks the City to look at technology to notify people when they need to move their cars to allow the street to be swept and also when they may park there again. The motion also asks the LADOT and the Bureau of Street Services to better coordinate so sweeping is not scheduled during peak parking times like school drop-off hours.
The LAPRG is comprised of stakeholders engaged by Mayor Garcetti. Residents, transportation and planning/land use industry experts worked to review and analyze a variety of potential parking reforms. The LAPRG released a comprehensive report earlier this year. Bonin’s legislative package builds upon the LAPRWG recommendations.
“The Parking Reform Working Group did great work and we cannot let their recommendations sit on a shelf. We need to take it a step further so we can begin making some of their suggestions a reality,” shares Bonin. “This package of legislation is about putting neighborhoods first and restoring some common sense to how we park in LA.”
With the hopeful passage of the parking reform legislation, the parking nightmare in LA will be transformed into a user-friendly experience that supports local communities, residents, and small businesses, all impacted by the restrictive parking in the city. Parking regulations should not be implemented as a means to increase the city coffers but to encourage people to follow the rules.
(Beth Cone Kramer is a Los Angeles-based writer and CityWatch contributor.) Prepped for CItyWatch by Linda Abrams.
Vol 13 Issue 101
Pub: Dec 15, 2015