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Car Culture

Eyes On the Street: Cars Parking On Sidewalks

Car on sidewalk on 4th Street near Normandie. Photos by Joe Linton
Car on sidewalk on 4th Street near Normandie Avenue. Photos by Joe Linton
Car on sidewalk on 4th Street near Normandie. Photos by Joe Linton

The latest reports show that L.A. County has 18.6 million parking spaces, a whopping 14 percent of developed land. But apparently drivers want even more. It may be just anecdotal in my neighborhood - which is Koreatown near East Hollywood - but it seems like I am seeing more and more cars parking on sidewalks and curbs.

When I am walking, sometimes these are blocking the sidewalk, which is especially irritating when pushing a stroller. I don't remember ever seeing this five to twenty years ago, but just this year it feels like it's increasing. I don't see it every day, but I did notice it a half dozen times before I began taking pictures last month with this article in mind. Parking is not easy here and it is somewhat more scarce on street-cleaning days, but it seems like drivers used to make do with the spaces allotted to them.

Car on the curb on First Street near Vermont Avenue.
Car on the curb on First Street near Vermont Avenue.
Car on the curb on First Street near Vermont Avenue.

Are other Angelenos seeing this? What neighborhoods? Can we come up with some kind of shaming process? Maybe just a hashtag?

What should we do to keep it from proliferating? Can we get some law enforcement to act? Unless... sometimes it is law enforcement vehicles which are parked on the sidewalk.

LAPD car parked on the sidewalk at the Wilshire/Vermont Metro Red Line Station
L.A. County Sheriffs car parked on the sidewalk at the Wilshire/Vermont Metro Red Line Station
LAPD car parked on the sidewalk at the Wilshire/Vermont Metro Red Line Station

I guess that police parking on a sidewalk is probably OK in a full-on emergency. The above picture is the only time I've observed it. But it seems like it's still harmful to walkability, especially if it becomes widespread and sends the wrong message to already entitled drivers.

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