Parking Meter Fail: Surprises, Confusion for Motorists - NBC Southern California

Parking Meter Fail: Surprises, Confusion for Motorists

Up to 12 percent of LA's parking meters are broken at any given time... or are they?



    Parking Meter Fail: Surprises, Confusion for Motorists
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    There's a good chance you've found yourself in Dan Schwartz's position

    The Silver Lake musician parked at a failed meter, but wanted to make certain he wouldn't get a ticket. He left a note on his dashboard to let passing enforcement officers know that the meter didn't register his coins.

    He returned to find a parking ticket on his vehicle.

    "I would like to feel that this city is not trying to marginalize me into being a petty criminal in order to make money from me," Schwartz said, according to the LA Times. "And a huge population of this city thinks that that's what's going on here."

    At any give time, the "Fail" sign is flashing on up to 12 percent of the city's parking meters, according to a study from an outside firm.

    Parking enforcement officers are not supposed to issue tickets on failed meters, so Councilman Tom LaBonge asked transportation official to clear up a few things after residents in his Los Feliz-Silver Lake-Hollywood district complained about receiving tickets at "dEAd" meters.

    "There's a lot of short fuses in the world, people are out of work and out of jobs... I want to have a friendly, efficient" Transportation Department, said LaBonge, according to the LA Times. "If someone says 'I got a ticket,' henceforth, 'from a failed meter,' we want to know about that, because we don't do that."

    Amir Sedadi, assistant general manager of the Transportation Department, confirmed that the "policy of the Department of Transportation is not to issue any citations to broken meters." He said broken meters can sometimes become operational, which might explain why some motorists return to find a ticket on their vehicles.

    "Somehow due to vibration, coins being stuck, somebody putting a paper clip (in) it may come out of that state and be acting normal," he told the Times.

    Sedadi said the problem could be solved by replacing old meters. The city also has a website at which failed meters can be reported.

    "It's just very, very confusing for everybody," LaBonge's Los Feliz field deputy, Mary Rodriguez, told the Times.

    Rodriguez should know. She's fighting a citation that she received at a failed meter. Only 2 percent of expired meter tickets were contested last fiscal year, the Times reported.