Parking Reforms Advanced By L.A. City Council Transportation Committee

Parking reform will likely including citywide expansion of L.A. Express Park
Parking reform will likely including citywide expansion of L.A. Express Park

As expected, a suite of far-ranging parking reforms was heard by the Los Angeles City Council’s Transportation Committee yesterday. The committee was broadly receptive to the reforms, directing the city’s Transportation Department (LADOT) and other departments to further investigate a number of key reforms. What was perhaps most revealing was individual city councilmember attention to specific parking issues.

As previewed earlier this week, the reforms were proposed by Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Los Angeles Parking Reform Working Group in a report [PDF] entitled “Proposals for Parking Reform in the City of Los Angeles.” They include:

  1. Dedicate all parking revenue for mobility and parking purposes only
  2. Change zoning code to address problems created by minimum parking requirements
  3. End handicap placard abuse
  4. Expand use of performance-based pricing
  5. Charge drivers for only the amount of time parked
  6. Charge tiered fines for parking tickets
  7. Adopt a freight parking program
  8. Re-evaluate street cleaning parking restrictions
  9. Re-evaluate Preferential Parking Districts (PPDs)
  10. Use technology to improve parking

None of the proposals were at a point where the committee could just vote to put them into effect immediately. Instead, largely at the direction of Transportation Committee chair Mike Bonin, numerous items are moving forward with departments evaluating them and reporting back to future Transportation Committee meetings.

The committee moved forward with the following reforms, numbered as they are above:

1. Dedicate all parking revenue for mobility and parking purposes only

In city parlance, a dedicated fund is called an “Enterprise Fund” (as opposed to the General Fund.) Bonin and the committee directed LADOT and the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to report on the benefits and costs of establishing a Parking Enterprise Fund, including a proposal for a pilot that would return a portion of local meter revenue to the locations where it was generated for transportation improvements.

Additionally on a separate but related item, the committee laid the groundwork for using city parking revenue to finance expansion of Express Park, a “Code the Curb” inventory (see 10 below), and a pilot enterprise fund.

Councilmember Jose Huizar asked a couple of questions on how a Parking Enterprise Fund could be targeted toward improvements specifically in the areas that generate the revenues.

4. Expand use of performance-based pricing

L.A. already does variable or performanced-based pricing as part of L.A. Express Park, which has been in effect for most of downtown Los Angeles for a few years, and is expanding to Westwood later this year. Bonin and the committee directed LADOT to report back on what is needed to accelerate Express Park implementation for Venice, Expo/USC, Hollywood, and to expand it to all parking metered streets “citywide.”

7. Adopt a freight parking program

Bonin and the committee directed LADOT to identify L.A.’s top twenty streets in terms of parking citations issued delivery vehicles. The report back also examines: existing curbside availability, commercial loading zones, freight and delivery stakeholder input, best practices from other cities, and methodology for assessing a pilot freight parking program.

8. Re-evaluate street cleaning parking restrictions

Bonin and the committee directed city departments to report on what it would take to technologically track street sweeping vehicles to create a street cleaning notification system. Additionally, departments were directed to evaluate sweeping schedules with regard to peak parking demand.

9. Re-evaluate Preferential Parking Districts (PPDs)

Evaluation of the city’s PPD program was already underway, as part of Council file 15-0600-S62. For this item an LADOT report, with recommendations, is expected to be heard in Transportation Committee later this year.

PPDs were the most talked-about item at yesterday’s hearing. Councilmember Bonin stated that, while he supported all the other Working Group recommendations, he was skeptical about including business representatives along with residents in PPDs. He stated that PPDs solve residents’ parking problems caused by “underparked businesses,” asking “why widen the circle to those causing the problems?” Councilmember Paul Koretz had very detailed concerns over PPD administration, from the design of the permits, to the ineffectiveness of district boundaries and guest permits.

10. Use technology to improve parking

Bonin and the committee directed LADOT to determine a cost for a “Code the Curb” inventory of all assets in the public right of way. This should set the stage for city or third-party apps to convey parking information to smart phone users.

 

 

  • Asher Of LA

    I think Bonin in particular is receptive to change, but selectively – that he’s skeptical that significant reform is suitable for most or all of the Westside, but is receptive to it in other places, like Downtown.

    Instead of waiting to get enough support for reforming a citywide ordinance, it
    might be easier and quicker to reform specific areas where there’s less opposition, sort of like how the adaptive reuse ordinance for downtown passed. Areas where council members can imagine people living without a car. I’d target Koreatown, Hollywood, Downtown and maybe North
    Hollywood’s Arts District. Probably USC, Westlake and parts of East LA
    as well.

    Good to see Bonin is trying to speed implementation of express park. It’s ridiculous how these meters have been confined to downtown despite their success and the abundance of mispriced meters in the city.

  • NSMP

    What happens to the items that weren’t moved forward?

  • Steven Vincent

    To keep up with the work toward getting this adopted, join us at http://www.parkinglosangeles.org

  • Joe Linton

    Not sure… probably need political pressure to pick them back up again. I’d really like the city to scale back its suburban minimum parking requirements.

  • Mary Hughes Thompson

    What residents who have to pay for permits to park outside their own homes need is for the city to enforce citing scofflaws who park without permits or with invalid permits. I live on a corner & have no driveway but can’t park on the street near my home because of all the cars parked illegally. Repeated request to the City Parking Bureau have brought little relief. People just hang any old tag on their mirror and the parking officers just sail by without ever checking to see if the tag is for this area or is up to date. I have challenged drivers who laugh at me and say the city parking officers never check the tags so they don’t worry. And they are right, at least on my block, District #34, no parking at any time.

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