Map of parking meter districts in the city of Los Angeles. Image via Working Group report [PDF]
Tomorrow’s 1 p.m. Los Angeles City Council Transportation Committee meeting
will be the first public airing of the final report of Mayor Garcetti’s Los Angeles Parking Reform Working Group. In February, the Working Group delivered “Proposals for Parking Reform in the City of Los Angeles”: a 40-page report [PDF
] outlining an extensive series of parking policies tailored to solve parking problems within the city of Los Angeles. The recommendations are far-ranging, including parking revenue, parking minimums, freight parking, parking ticket fines, street sweeping restrictions, and much more.
The Working Group grew out of agitation from the fairly-conservative Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative, but the mayor appointed a broader cross-section of parking reformers, including a handful of Shoupistas. As a result, the Working Group’s recommendations, like parking expert Don Shoup‘s, center on common ground, good-government reforms which would go a long way to fostering greater livability.
At this time, the Working Group’s report is just a set of recommendations. It will take political will, on the mayor and council’s part to enact these into law, and to embed them into an already strained city budget.
Below are ten of the top recommendations from the Working Group’s report.
1. Dedicate all parking revenue for mobility and parking purposes only
The report calls for dedicating all city parking revenue – from meters, lots, and tickets – into “a secure, segregated Parking and Access Fund.” The Fund would be only used for two purposes: managing parking and improving mobility. Parking could including building additional lots or structures, upgrading technologies, etc. Mobility improvements could include pedestrian facilities, such as sidewalks and streetscape.
Shoup has long asserted that dedicating parking revenue to visible street improvements is a key way to generate the political will for pricing parking appropriately.
2. Change zoning code to address problems created by minimum parking requirements
The report criticizes outdated parking minimums for hurting small business, making housing less affordable, and worsening traffic congestion. The specific zoning reforms are not spelled out yet. Generally, the report states that parking requirements “should be balanced with other transportation goals in order to enhance transit accessibility and parking availability” with additional specifics forthcoming.
3. End handicap placard abuse
Handicap placard abuse sabotages parking meter pricing strategies. Allowing some drivers to park indefinitely for free makes it difficult to ensure an adequate supply of street parking at any price. Illegitimate placard users squeeze out space for people with disabilities who actually need it.
Though California and Los Angeles have done occasional stings targeting placard abuse, other locales have had dramatic success in reforming placard laws. The city of Portland, Oregon, ended free parking for disabled drivers in 2014. Severely disabled drivers, including actual wheelchair users, have an exception that allows them to park for free.
The city of Los Angeles cannot, on its own, end rampant placard abuse. Placards are governed by state law. Nonetheless, L.A. electeds have allies in the state legislature, and the city pushes for a state legislation agenda to solve L.A. problems.
4. Expand use of performance-based pricing
The report urges the expansion of performance-based pricing, Read more…