Citizen Journalism: USC Student Reveals Flaws in Citys Street Cleaning and Parking Enforcement

Clarence Eckerson Jr., the mad genius behind Streetfilms, believes that the next frontier of activist journalism isn’t going to be written blogs but video blogs.  Sometimes, when I look at the performance of your average Streetfilm  compared to the hits one of my best researched and most popular stories, it’s hard to argue with him.

Picking up the mantle of citizen journalist is USC Junior Matt Schraeder who’s story on how the city will ticket cars parked on streets due for cleanings is pretty much a must-see piece of journalism.  While you’re not going to confuse the above piece with a Streetfilm, Schraeder does take the needed steps to take the film beyond your run-of-the-mill time elapse video to a worthy, well-rounded news story.   He manages to interview officials in the LADOT and Parking Enforcement.  Just add some music, get rid of the sympathy for drivers who park illegally and we’re in business!

While you won’t catch me crying crocodile tears for the drivers in Schraeder’s piece, it’s not like they know the streets isn’t going to be cleaned when they make their parking decisions, there is a major issue with this ticketing practice.  The City of Los Angeles is in desperate need of parking reform, which should include more rate increases and longer metered hours.  The more the city decides to use the new funds to fill a hole in the general fund and the more it hands out tickets that are more likely to enrage than educate; the harder and more politically unfeasible it is going to be for politicians to make the right decision when it comes to parking pricing and reform.

  • DJB

    This story does a good job of illustrating the sense of entitlement drivers feel to street space. The unasked question seems to be why is the city so broke that it doesn’t sweep all of the streets every week? Maybe we need a state where it doesn’t take a super majority vote to raise tax revenue for basic public health services like street cleaning (or for that matter, street and sidewalk maintenance).

  • Michael

    The guy who got the “unfair” ticket is silly … he didn’t know street sweeping wasn’t coming when he decided to park there, he’s just upset that he got a ticket when the street sweeping wasn’t done. I’d only be sympathetic if he parked in a zone after the sweeper had come through but before time was up, in which case it’s a much more clear case of abuse.

  • Erik

    You mean parking enforcement is largely done for the revenue!? SHOCKER.

    I wonder what sort of performance metric street sweeping has, if any. 66% is not very good coverage. As a cyclist who is supposed to ride as far to the right as practicable. Regular street sweeping is pretty advantageous.

  • velocipedus

    Has anyone calculated the benefit (or less) of street cleaning: Are we ready to think of street cleaning as an environmental load? Weekly trip generation by moving cars, dust generation, exhaust fumes, the whole carbon story: Everybody likes a CLEAN street, yeah, but what about the benefits less cleaning activity (Let’s not be too anal about this, they say cleanliness can even be a source of allergies etc) And why would I use my bicycle today if I have to move the car anyhow because of street cleaning…

  • Wad

    While you won’t catch me crying crocodile tears for the drivers in Schraeder’s piece …

    That’s a good thing.

    Crocodile tears means an insincere show of emotion.

  • Crocodile tears means an insincere show of emotion.
    And I don’t even feel bad enough to fake crying.

  • fyi – Street cleaning is required as part of the city’s stormwater permit. Theoretically it keeps pollution out of the river and the ocean… though I don’t know how effective it is at pollution prevention.

  • Great video – I love the accountability element of it. We need more videos like this


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