Parking Rate Increase Decreases Parking

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As many may have noticed, the City has decided to jack up the price you pay at parking meters, and those increases have been showing up all around town. In Lincoln Heights, the parking lot behind the 99¢ store and the Payless Shoes, has gone crazy with those crazy fees: the price for an hour has increased by 400%.  One dollar an hour might not seem that much to some, but it’s really exorbitant for many working people.

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What is the effect of these crazy prices? Nobody is parking in the parking lot. This is around 11:30 on Sunday Feb 15, a time when this lot would normally be almost full from people shopping on N. Broadway. Like many others, I went and found a spot on the non-metered neighborhood streets nearby. This is a crazy sight, If you’ve ever been in this lot on a pre-increase day, you’ll know what I mean.

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This situation is worse for my favorite mini-mall (aka, the Lincoln Heights mini-mall with the penguin sign, on Workman) in that if I wanted to buy a pair of Dickies there, I’d have to walk almost to Daly to pay my fee as they didn’t find this huge block-long parking lot worthy of meters on both ends. That’s a long way to walk just to be an upright citizen. And my civic duty doesn’t go that far.

La Crisis is heating up, and those in the cooker are starting to get hot and bothered. At the very least, this new pay scheme concentrates the rage of  a whole parking lot into just two machines. If I know poor working people, and I think I do, somebody always finds a solution to deal with perceived injustices, no matter how minor. And I think these new meters fall into that category.

As a friend recently texted me: “Everyday a new indignity”.

PS. There’s a meeting in LH to discuss this:

Dear Neighbor:

The increase of parking meter rates in some business districts in the
City of Los Angeles is wrong particularly at a time when people from
our community are being laid off from work and are losing their homes
to foreclosure.

We have scheduled a town hall meeting on the parking meter rates on
Monday, February 23, 2009 at the Lincoln Heights Senior Citizen
Center located at 2323 Workman St., Los Angeles, CA 90031. The
meeting will start at 7:00pm.

25 thoughts on “Parking Rate Increase Decreases Parking

  1. Now would have been the time to reduce rates, not raise them. They’e shot themselves in the foot once again.

  2. Interesting that the top photo shows that for only $4, one can park for ten hours. So they encourage long term parkers, but nail people who want to quickly visit local businesses.

  3. Since politicians do not have the b@lls to raise taxes, they will instead, have to nickle and dime you to death.

  4. Yes, this is a new indignity. Government charges us to use a lot WE already paid for? Somebody keeps voting these people in. The minorities should stop voting their skin color and put their own families first. There is an election coming up on March 3rd, if you let Tony V have another term, you only have YOURSELVES to blame.

  5. On the other side of the river, I stopped at Flower Mart to pick up something for my bride and found that the parking meters there charge $3 per hour. Fortunately, I can afford that but the meters are the old type and don’t take credit cards. Nobody I know besides my wife carries a dozen quarters on them so I had to park in the private lot around the corner.

  6. I’ve noticed something else on the Westside. The parking meters (and some areas without meters) used to be limited to 2 hour parking until 6 pm. Now that goes until 8 pm. I figure it’s just the city trying to find more ways to bring in revenue.

    Were these meters always enforced until 9 pm?

  7. Cindylu,
    Yeah, same thing over here. That lot used to be free after 6pm but they changed it to 9pm (everything is closed by then) and extended it an hour earlier as well to 7am. Plus now they charge on Sundays too. I’ve heard of nickel and dimeing but this is quarter and dollaring.

  8. If there is enough lana in those meters it won’t be long before some ex pinto with a portable sawzall or a truck with a winch will take care of the problem.
    But when nobodys sticking any money in them hows a poor thief going to make a living?

  9. When City Council and the DOT first hatched this parking meter scheme, Westside Councilmember Bill Rosendahl famously exclaimed, “there’s gold in the gutters!” … Referring, of course to your willingness to put more money in the meter. That’s how much respect these guys have for you.

    The Eastside representatives who stuck you with this are Ed Reyes and Jose Huizar. Huizar isn’t up for re-election this year, but if you live Council District 1, you can join me in voting for Reyes’ opponent, Jesse Rosas on March 3rd. It isn’t about Rosas; it’s about telling Ed Reyes we won’t take this lying down (and putting Huizar on notice). Voter turnout is so low in CD1 that if enough people spread the word and turn out to vote, Reyes won’t know what hit him.

    PS: this 99 cent store is in CD1.

  10. Oh my god! People can’t park for next to nothing anymore?! Oh the humanity!!

    What will they do? Walk?

    Look, I think that the sadness of an empty retail location should not be attributed to parking meter rates alone.

    We’re in a huge economic convulsion, millions have been laid off, and the low end of the economic spectrum businesses (i.e. discount retailers, nail salons, fast food, auto body shops) are getting wiped out.

    The whole idea of reducing parking rates is to keep enough open space in every area that people won’t have to drive aroudn the block endlessly looking for parking. If this is straight up discouraging people from shopping then maybe a slight reduction is in order.

    I think what we should get more made about (and I get more mad about) is the fact that all of this revenue generates in Lincoln Heights leaves the area and never returns. The parking meter money in Old Town Pasadena and 3rd St. in Santa Monica is directly re-invested in the area.

    In L.A., the meter money goes into a slush fund, and the districts that generate the most revenue are punished by having their customers turned away.

    I would gladly join any fight to keep a fat percentage of the meter money generated in Lincoln Heights right here in Lincoln Heights – going to pay to clean the sidewalks, improve the streetscape, pay for trash pickup, etc. That would allow the small businesses to really get a leg u on the regional shopping centers that have stolen business from traditional downtown areas like ours.

  11. Parking meters are undemocratic period. Parking meters and parking tickets are just another hidden tax that is unloaded on working people. The sales tax is another hidden tax and should be unconstitutional. It is a burden on those who can least afford it. Think a wealthy person gives a shit about parking meters, parking tickets, sales tax, or any of the other hidden tax’s that are a plague on poor and working people?
    Increase the progressive income tax on the wealthy and then you’d hear some wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  12. I’m with ubray on this one. There’s no such thing as “free parking.” If you’re gonna use an auto, you should pay your way..,and utilize the money for district/neighborhood level improvements in transportation (e.g. pedestrian amenities, etc). The real issue isn’t that LA is too chicken sh** to increase taxes, but its been to chicken sh** to use market-strategies towards drivers to pay road improvements etc etc. The lot looks like it was recently sealed. Other City of LA commercial district/neighborhoods would kill for a public lot like that.

  13. The “working class” for the most part ride the bus. They can/should toll HOV lanes too for Hybrids and whoever else wants to pay… and use the money for public transit improvements. “Free parking” should be a luxury in this city…you end up paying for it anyway in housing etc.

  14. Really? So if all the working class are on the bus then who’s driving all those cars on the freeways? The wealthy?
    Working class people pay way more than their share in tax’s and the wealthy don’t pay an equal percentage for using the public commons.

    If the powers that be provided a better bus or mass transit system for working people then maybe the freeways wouldn’t be so crowded with wealthy people in their Rolls Royce’s.

    Thumbs down on undemocratic hidden tax’s like parking meters.

  15. The cyclist, transit-rider, environmentalist, Green Partier in me likes any effort that suppresses automobile usage.

    That being said. All business districts of Los Angeles are not equal, and this blanket hike in rates, is an undue burden for the East-side.

    Now that being said. I find it particularly interesting that the group organizing the Town Hall Meeting, has their offices next to a metered lot in Highland Park, yet their employees that drive there rarely use it. Instead, preferring to park down the street in front of my house where there are no parking meters or hourly restrictions. [Meaning, visitors to my house may have to use the meters in the lot next to their building.]

  16. Last week, I discovered that the meters across from MOCA cost $4 per hour. I think those go until 8 PM, too.

    Oh and Metro_Vaquero, working class folks use everything from the bus, their feet, cars, trains and bikes to get to work. The majority of people on the bus may be working class, but so are the majority of folks creeping along in their cars.

  17. Here in the Crenshaw District and Southwest LA there are no meters or paid lots anywhere, for now. God bless Herb Wesson.

  18. Unlike DQ and a lot of other old Angelenos, I don’t think parking is a natural right. Store your shit in the street and it gets swept away or towed in other towns.

    People get all pissed off about having to pay for parking, but trust me, you pay for it anyway if there is no meter. All the “free parking” in front of those mega-stores is paid for by the owner of the building, who passes those costs on down the line to you, the customer.

    Parking passes on college campuses are super expensive because (Gasp!) colleges are making car users directly pay for the debt and costs associated with the parking lot/garage they use.

    All that vacant black top makes me think of a few good uses: extended parks; bike parking (you can fit 12-13 bikes in ONE car spot); benches, tables, outdoor plazas; wider sidewalks; places for buses to pick-up and drop-off passengers smoothly; and I could go on.

    Mobility is not the same as making everything car friendly.

  19. Like stated, if you want help the “working class,” poor or whatever the label you which to use, increase/diversify their mobility opportunities…by reducing the economic burden/high personal budget allocation associated with the auto as a primary mode of transport. I’m not just talking about parking meters, but mundane city policies that force builders to build x amount of parking spaces for y amount of units. At an upwards avg. of +$20,000 (being generous) per at grade space…many “affordable housing” don’t get built.

    “If the powers that be provided a better bus or mass transit system for working people then maybe the freeways wouldn’t be so crowded with wealthy people in their Rolls Royce’s.”

    The buses are stuck in traffic because autos and auto-oriented land use policies rule this city-region whether it be the South LA or the San Fernando Valley. People in LA practically riot when this “right to drive” is challenged, until this doesn’t change…people will continue spending 77 cents on transportation for every dollar it saves on housing (US Labor Stats). This personal money could be spent elsewhere, or saved.

    God forbid the idea of making real bus lanes at street level…thus making public transit more efficient. People would call for a recall…like they did in Bogota, Colombia.

  20. I would love to see a Mexican style “combi” transit system here that is very local and does circular routes. It would cut out all those little car trips and would ease parking crunches in commercial districts. The DASH bus routes are still too spread out and jagged.
    Of course, we’d want it to be slightly safer than some of those combis and taxis you take in Mexico. No bars on board please.
    http://chimatli.org/blog/?p=176

  21. “No bars on board please.” I’d buy a monthly pass every month for that line!

    While in New York I usta have one part of my little comedy set talking about funding for MTA. My best idea was for MTA to have a bar car on every train and charge accordingly. It would pay handsomely, provide great publicity and like any bar, would have more than enough to afford bouncers on board to chuck the schmucks.

    Maybe Metro could take a hint to make up for their recently lost state transit funds, eh?

  22. Want to know what the city does with Parking meter money?

    Scehdule 11, 2007 – 2008 City Budget, pg. 216 (pg. 329 of .pdf)
    The Special Parking Revenue Fund receives all monies collected from parking meters and City-owned parking lots in the City in accordance with Division 5 of the Los Angeles Administrative Code. Fund monies may be used for the following purposes: 1) purchasing, leasing,installing, maintaining, operating, regulating and policing of parking meters and metered spaces, collection of meter revenue and related expenses; 2) the purchase, improvement, and operation of off-street parking facilities; 3) the painting and marking of streets and curbs required for the parking of motor vehicles within parking meter zones; 4) repayment of borrowed City funds; and, 5) thepayment of debt service costs incurred for off-street parking facilities. In June 2001, the Special Parking Revenue Fund Ordinance was amended to provide that Fund monies may also be used for City employee parking and to specify that the revenues generated therefrom shall be deposited into the City Employee Ridesharing Fund. Off-street parking facilities financed from the Special Parking Revenue Fund should be in close proximity to the business districts in which parking meter zones are established and should be paid from the receipts of parking meters installed in those business districts.”

  23. Cry me a river. If you can’t afford to park in one of the largest, most expensive cities in the world, maybe you shouldn’t be living here.

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