Parking Reformer Lowenthal Continues to Get Attacked in the Press. Let’s Help Him Out

As news continues to spread about Senate Bill 518, Senator Alan Lowenthal’s legislation that passed the State Senate last week and would encourage municipalities to curb their addiction to free parking or lose out on state planning and transit grants; the reaction from the press has been almost uniformly bad.  And it’s not just the conservative outlets such as Fox News that are piling on.  As we detailed yesterday, the Times is almost gleefully promoting the most inflammatory comments from their article.  Yesterday, the Long Beach Press-Telegram, Lowenthal’s local paper, took an editorial stand against the legislation.

2_3_10_lowenthal.jpgUnder fire for sensible legislation. Photo: AP

I like to think that Streetsblog is more than just a place for the choir to preach to itself, or a place to discuss the court cases and laws regarding cycling.  I think it’s also a place to try and effect some change, so to that end, let’s get out there and take up for Lowenthal’s parking reform legislation.  You can read a summary of what the legislation does here, and read more about the press’ take on it in yesterday’ article on S.B. 518.

After the jump will be a series of links and quotes to help you find the outlets discussing the legislation and the best way to either comment or send a letter to the editor.  Note how many of the articles and opinions complain about the quest to "get rid of free parking."  Of course, nobody is proposing any such thing.

Long Beach Press-Telegram: Less Parking Isn’t Better
How to Comment: You can comment at the end of the article, or send a letter to the editor to

The bill says that excessive parking demands
by local government sometimes stymie development projects, and
employers worsen traffic congestion when they give employees free
parking. Maybe so, but it’s hard to imagine how shifting the
rule-making to Sacramento will make anything better.

The bill already has been approved by the
Democrat-dominated Senate. It is opposed by Republicans, who rightly
take the position that parking decisions should be local decisions.

Long Beach Press-Teletram: Alan Lowenthal Says Bill Doesn’t Ban Free Parking (The article itself isn’t bad, but the comments section is crazed)
How to Comment: You can comment at the end of the article, or send a letter to the editor to

State Sen. Alan Lowenthal said Monday that a
bill he wrote to encourage cities, counties and businesses to reduce
parking, traffic congestion and greenhouse gases has been taken out of

Talk radio hosts, bloggers and editorial pages took aim at
the Long Beach Democrat, arguing that his Senate Bill 518 seeks to ban
free parking in California.

Not true, the senator said.

Los Angeles Times: State Lawmakers Take Aim at Free Parking
How to Comment: You can comment at the end of the article, or send a letter to the editor at this link

Reporting from Sacramento –

State lawmakers are taking aim at what some of them see as a menace to California’s environment: free parking.

Los Angeles Times: Letters to the Editor (Will refresh tomorrow):
How to Comment: Send a letter to the editor at this link

Congratulations, state Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), you are the
new poster child for our remarkably dysfunctional Legislature.

are you wasting your time and the taxpayers’ money worrying about local
parking lots instead of fixing the problems of the state government and
the Legislature, which is your job?

LA Now: Free Parking?  Not if One California Lawmaker Gets His Way
How to Comment: You can comment at the end of the article, or send a letter to the editor at this link

stopthem wrote:
Lowenthal!!! why don’t you do something good for CA residence and stop
worrying about your friends who want to make money of parking. People
of Long Beach when its time to vote again, please put someone in office
who actually cares for people not someone who is just there to serve
their own interests. We are struggling financially and our legislators
don’t care, all they want is more rules, regulations and laws so they
can tell us "you did wrong, now pay up" I really think it is about time
that WE THE PEOPLE of California put a stop to these useless and
tyranic legislators with all the ridiculous ideas and rules.

Fox Taking Aim at Free Parking
How to Comment: You can comment at the end of the article.

But in California, environmentalists say
all that free parking comes at too high a cost- in greenhouse gas
emissions. Environmentalists say if people drove less, there would be
an environmental benefit.

With the support of green groups, the state
senate passed a plan offering cities and counties financial incentives
to slash the number of free parking spaces on the street and in
government-owned lots, and to reduce the number of free spaces
businesses are required to provide.

Town Hall: Californians Lose Their Parking Privileges
How to Comment: Right there at the end of the article

Just when you thought environmental extremists couldn’t go any further,
they surprise you with yet another ploy in their never-ending quest to
turn back modernity. With the public push-back on the cap-and-trade
scheme and creating man-made droughts to save a 2-inch fish,
environmentalists have become craftier in their efforts. Always the
vanguard of the latest environmental regulation, California has a new
idea for getting polluters out of their cars: get rid of free parking.


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