"Abuses" in LA Parking Enforcement Targeted in 2014

The group says parking enforcement has focused on generating revenue rather than serving the public for the last several years.

By Andrew Lopez
|  Friday, Dec 27, 2013  |  Updated 11:45 PM PDT
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The city of LA makes millions of dollars from parking tickets each year. But some activists are pushing for changes to what they call a hidden tax scheme. Kate Larsen reports from North Hollywood for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013.

Kate Larsen

The city of LA makes millions of dollars from parking tickets each year. But some activists are pushing for changes to what they call a hidden tax scheme. Kate Larsen reports from North Hollywood for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013.

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A community group is planning for a 2014 full of change as they look to reform what they call “abuses” of parking enforcement in Los Angeles.

Steven Vincent, founder of the Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative, said that through the years parking restrictions and fines have been more about generating revenue for the city than providing a public service to residents and businesses.

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The initiative that popped up late this year hopes to change that in 2014.

“I do hold out some hope that the City Council will see the wisdom of parking reform,” Vincent said.

That reform includes capping fines, prohibiting metered parking in residential neighborhoods, and creating a localized policy setting process to account for varying needs of different neighborhoods in the city.

“We’re not advocating parking anarchy,” Vincent said. “We’re just saying the parking regime needs to reflect the actual real world needs.”

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The group, whose goal it is to become an official organization by January, wants to work with the city to make changes without involving a ballot measure.

But if progress isn’t made, Vincent said the issue could go to the voters in 2014.

“If necessary, we are very confident that we can legislate parking reform through ballots,” Vincent said.

For now, the group will continue to reach out to neighborhood councils and other community groups to gather input on the issue.

On Friday, the group’s Facebook page had 985 “Likes.” Susan Hunter supported the group in a comment.

“As citizens, we used to be able to call 311 on days when it was raining and find out if street cleaning was canceled for the day. Now vehicle owners are ticketed regardless if street cleaning is canceled or not due to rain,” Hunter said. “I’m glad to know someone is trying to bring back common sense to parking, instead of it being a taxation without representation.”

Also involved in the group is Jay Beeber, who factored into the Los Angeles Police Commission's decision to nix the red light camera program.

A call to the Department of Transportation was not returned by time of publication.
 

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