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City Council Backtracks on Free Parking for Hybrids

parking_meter_fail.jpg

The Daily News reports that the debate over whether the city should allow free parking for hybrids isn't over quite yet. 

Despite passing a resolution continuing the city's benefit for hybrids last Friday, Councilmember Bill Rosendahl convinced the Council to put the measure on hold during a Council hearing yesterday.  Before a new vote on the proposal will be made, the Council wishes for LADOT to prepare a report on the effects of ending the program and for environmental groups have a chance to weigh in.  Rosendahl sought to end the program entirely, but agreed to the compromise after hearing from the other councilmembers.

Rosendahl summed up the opposition to extending the program that emerged during public comment at committee.  There was no public testimony allowed before the resolution was passed by the Council last Friday:

"But hybrids don't need assistance from us. They already are getting a benefit from the savings they get by not having to buy $4-a-gallon gas...My question is, why should we continue this when we have a budget deficit?"

The LADOT prepared a report for the Council last year.  It said that the city will lose over $100,000 a year if meters maintain their current cost.  Because the state no longer hands out "hybrid stickers," ending the program should have no impact on the amount of hybrids that are purchased.

As for the potential testimony of environmental groups, back when this program was started the Sierra Club actually opposed the plan according to a member of the Sierra Club's transportation committee.

Photo: JeremiahChristopher/Flickr

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