6 votes

On Los Angeles parking fines and the corporate takeover of municipal functions

1 comment

  1. joplin
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    I think the overall point of this article - that outsourcing processing of government fees to a for-profit company is a bad idea is a fair point. Unfortunately, there's a lot in the article that I...

    I think the overall point of this article - that outsourcing processing of government fees to a for-profit company is a bad idea is a fair point. Unfortunately, there's a lot in the article that I find confusing.

    Last March, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti set in motion a pandemic-year experiment that was enthusiastically received by participants in the city’s notoriously car-based culture.

    I don't find our city to be anymore car-based than when I lived in Atlanta, Miami, or Chicago. We have trains, busses, cabs, and ride-sharing apps. I did find Boston to be much more walkable than any of the above, but it's also a lot smaller than Los Angeles.

    From the city’s perspective, opportunities to give parking tickets are more or less limitless; avoiding getting one takes attention and cunning.

    I've lived here 16 years, have never done anything to avoid tickets and have never received one. Perhaps I'm just lucky? I did get tickets when I lived in Chicago, and did find it very difficult to find parking there. And when you did find it, it was hella expensive. I didn't have any problem in Atlanta, and didn't have a car in Boston or Miami, so can't say there.

    What’s more, the landmass people think of as the city of LA is a patchwork of separate municipalities, such as West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Culver City, and Santa Monica—all with their own opaque parking rules.

    True, but just because people who don't live here don't understand the boundaries between cities doesn't mean it's any worse here than in any other city. In Atlanta, I'm guessing that Marietta, and Buckhead, and Duluth all have different parking rules too, since they're all different cities. That's what the quoted sentence says: "Different cities around LA have different rules and that's confusing." True, but it's the same for any city, as far as I can tell.

    a person cannot leave their car in the same spot for more than seventy-two hours, a number plucked from thin air.

    This is true, and there's a reason for it (beyond the mentioned reason of wanting to avoid transients living in a particular place). I live near LAX and people often drive to our neighborhood, park in front of my house, and get a Lyft or Uber the remaining mile or 2 to the airport. (When I first saw this happen, I thought it was kind of brilliant. If I didn't already live here, I'd consider doing the same thing!) But it really pisses off people in our neighborhood. I kind of get it. If someone parks their car in front of your house for 3 weeks while they're in Europe or something, it makes it that much harder to get your trash cans to the curb, park your own car reasonably close to your house, etc. I don't think it's that big of a deal, but there was at least a reasonable thought process behind it. It's the same as people complaining about drivers going through their neighborhoods because Wayze said it was faster. It's not illegal, even if it's annoying. Well in the case of parking somewhere for days on end, they made it illegal.

    Anyway, as I say, the point of the article seems reasonable, but all the hemming and hawing before it seemed nonsensical to me.

    3 votes