Councilmember Bonin Introduces Seven Parking Reform Motions

Today L.A. City Councilmember Mike Bonin introduced seven parking reform motions. Graphic from CM Bonin
Today L.A. City Councilmember Mike Bonin introduced seven parking reform motions. Graphic from CM Bonin

Today, Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin introduced seven council motions [PDF] that would reform parking. The motions are wide-ranging: from diverting parking meter revenue back into neighborhoods where it is generated, to tiering parking ticket fines, to expanding dynamic pricing via Express Park.

The motions grew out of recommendations from Mayor Garcetti’s Los Angeles Parking Reform Working Group’s final report titled “Proposals for Parking Reform in the City of Los Angeles” [PDF] as discussed at Transportation Committee in October.

Here is a run-down of Bonin’s seven parking reform motions:

  1. Update L.A.’s Five-Year Parking Plan
    In some ways this is Bonin’s omnibus motion that carries motions number 2, 4, and 6 below. The Department of Transportation (LADOT) is due to submit its occasional maintenance and operations plan for city parking, including city parking revenue. Bonin’s motion requests that LADOT’s next parking plan include: expansion of Express Park, “Code the Curb,” and “a pilot project to return a portion of parking meter revenue for investment in local transportation improvements.”
  2. “Code the Curb”
    Enabled/funded by motion 1 above, Bonin’s motion sets up city departments to do an electronic inventory of all of the city’s parking assets. This will enable the city to implement “dynamic digital parking systems that can communicate with the public in real-time and replace the static parking regulations of today.”
  3. Ensure Fair Fines
    One mantra of the Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative has been to make parking ticket fines less onerous. Bonin’s motion directs city departments to evaluate a tiered pricing scheme where first-time offenders pay less, and drivers with multiple violations gradually get stiffer and stiffer fines.
  4. Expand Express Park
    Bonin is seeking to expand L.A. Express Park variable-priced meter parking now in effect in downtown L.A. and recently expanded to Westwood. The way Express Park works is that the city monitors how full on-street parking spaces are, then adjusts parking meter prices with a goal of keeping between 70 and 90 percent of spaces occupied. On blocks where there is little demand for parking, hourly rates are made cheaper. On blocks where it is very hard to find an open space, hourly rates are increased. Meter rates also vary by the time of day and the day of the week.
    The motion specifically looks to expand Express Park to Venice, Hollywood and Exposition/USC areas, and then to all metered parking throughout the city.
  5. Coordinate Freight Parking
    This motion directs LADOT to develop a program to make commercial vehicle delivery work more smoothly. LADOT would examine areas where commercial delivery vehicles get the most tickets, and build on successful models in other cities.
  6. Fund Local Parking Improvements
    All of these motions are good for livability, but this one is the Shoupista gem that could turn around Los Angeles parking. Today, parking meter payments disappear into the black hole of the city’s General Fund. Parking expert Don Shoup repeatedly stresses the importance of returning revenue for local improvements, primarily in order to generate the political will for metered parking. Technically, this means a number of shifts within the city, including replacing the existing Special Parking Revenue Fund (SPRF) with what is called an Enterprise Fund.
  7. Use Technology to Reduce Street Sweeping Tickets
    This motion directs city departments to implement the technology needed to notify drivers when they need to move their cars for street sweeping. It also directs city departments to coordinate street sweeping in order to avoid sweeping at peak parking times, including during school drop-off hours.

Each of these motions will be heard in the city’s Transportation Committee, which Councilmember Bonin chairs.

None of these reforms will happen tomorrow, but, especially with expansion of Express Park, the city of Los Angeles is already on a smart trajectory for livability-oriented parking reform, which will only get better as additional reforms come on line.

  • GlobalLA

    All these things should have been done like, years ago!

  • stvr

    CM Bonin went to Harvard, he ain’t no dummy. This is all poll tested drivel. Nothing daring, nothing bold. Sorry, dude, you’re not going to get to be mayor by coding the curb

  • calwatch

    Yeah, a politician’s number one goal is to get re-elected. So what? Baby steps towards proper pricing of parking, and eliminating the most egregious examples of government abuse by reducing first time parking violator fines, is a step in the right direction, especially since Jay Beeber, who pushed many of these ideas, lost badly in the polls.

  • Tom

    Parking fines should NOT fund more parking it should fund public transportation! More parking creates more traffic.

  • Asher Of LA

    Too many people think that making driving more painful is an effective strategy. It isn’t. It just yields backlash. This is a step in the right direction

    To paraphrase, reform will come when the reformers love people more than they hate cars.

  • Joe Linton

    The proposal is for “transportation improvements” – which could include parking improvements (like more or smarter meters) or other “streetscape” – stuff that makes walking, bicycling, etc. better.

  • jennix

    Parking PARKing PARKING! I’m so sick of listening to people who think they have to drive everywhere talk about what a problem it is to secure their own 60 square feet of personal, preferably free space! So selfish, so arrogant, and so entitled!

  • Jeff Jacobberger

    A lot of these reforms involve getting the price of curb parking right, not making it free. When that happens, you might encourage people to drive (in places where demand and therefore prices are low) but might also discourage people from driving (where demand and prices are high). The places where parking usage (and revenue) is high tend to be the places that would be benefit from streetscape improvements (e.g. ped lighting, repaired sidewalks, traffic-calming on local streets) that would make walking and bicycling better. And a lot of it has to do with addressing people’s legitimate grievances (e.g., getting a street sweeping ticket when the street is not swept) so that we can have more rational discussions around parking and parking reform.

  • Asher Of LA

    Parking angst mutates into bikelash.

  • Asher Of LA

    Ignoring them makes it worse – when people can’t find parking, they get the government to require buildings to provide parking.

    And then you’re stuck paying for parking whether you use it or not – that induces people to drive.

  • Joe Linton

    For a long time, I used to think “why should I care about parking – I bike (plus transit, walk) everywhere?” Then as I’ve learned more about parking, I think that it is one of the main pillars holding up car culture – one of the ways our patterns of development basically heavily encourage car-use. I think parking reform is a big opportunity to reclaim our cities from cars.

  • ubrayj02

    I’d love to see a detailed exploration of the relationship LA has with Xerox – who runs what looks like a very lucrative bit of business managing parking meters in LA. It would also be nice to fund loca improvements – like sidewalks, street cleaning, police patrols, loans for facade improvements, etc.

  • ubrayj02

    So funny to read this and then attend public meetings about bike lanes and pedestrian safety and see exactly the opposite of what you are saying work very well for people opposed to better pedestrian and bike conditions in the city.

    How about we organize and stick to our guns? You build coalitions with people you share common cause with – an underfunded and mostly unexplored option in livable streets advocacy work as far as I can see.

    Trying to cooperate with people brain damaged by their personal experience filters is a waste of time sometimes. Sometimes, you have to build a battering ram and charge forward.

    All I can say is, it seems to work rather well for anti-livable street groups, politicians, etc. I prefer to take a dominant strategy and use it rather than always be on the back foot, trying to deal with the baloney from the opposition. Make them deal with us. Make them afraid of of us at the ballot box, at the community hearing level, at the Thanksgiving dinner table, and at the bar or comedy club or movies.

  • Asher Of LA

    Does resolving parking issues actually make getting bike lanes harder? It seems like frustration over parking boils over into other issues, and into a greater ‘war on cars’ and opposition to housing growth.

    The problem comes when you’re trying to fix one segment of a system that’s broken on all fronts, from free unavailable parking, to parking requirements, to free parking at your job, to free but congested vehicle lanes (instead of tolled non-congested lanes) to autocentric exclusionary zoning codes.

    If the city allowed car-free housing with small units or ADUs, while banning the residents from parking on the street by their residence, that would solve a lot of the issues we’re facing. Japan has largely avoided these issues despite having a massive car industry, because it requires car owners to park off-street at night.

  • Asher Of LA

    One problem is Xerox gets commissions on parking tickets, just like the city. They both have an incentive to design systems that get lots of people dinged for parking violations. Enforcement is expensive and ineffective compared to just setting the prices right and ditching time limits.

  • Jonathan Raspa

    Memo recommending the renewal of Xerox’s contract. It appears that Xerox has used a proprietary piece of software as an integral part of ExpressPark, making it very expensive and time consuming to switch to another vendor.

    LA did consider another vendor, Duncan, but preferred to stick with Xerox due to their “proven track record.”

  • Slexie

    That is already happening. There are many apartments old and new that do not even offer parking. Some that do have parking at prices that residents can’t afford. A lot of the parking in Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Koreatown, Silver Lake, Echo Park, Westwood, WeHo and numerous other dense neighborhoods in LA do no allow overnight parking at all. And when that stupid mobility plan goes forward, even more parking will be eliminated.

  • Asher Of LA

    Not sure what you’re talking about, those neighborhoods allow overnight parking, sometimes by residents only (BH).

  • Slexie

    Not sure what I’m talking about? I live right off of Hollywood Blvd., and for blocks in each direction there is no parking 1:30-6am every night. There are other parts of Hollywood that do not allow parking from 1am-6am. That is not allowing parking overnight at all. Beverly Hills does not allow overnight parking unless you have purchased a permit. The majority of WeHo is permit only, that is paid for as well. There are also apartments that do not offer parking as an amenity at all, so you have to take your chances parking on the street, or pay for a garage to hold your car. The idea of banning a person from parking their own car near where they live is ridiculous.

  • Asher Of LA

    You wrote “A lot of the parking in Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Koreatown, Silver Lake, Echo Park, Westwood, WeHo and numerous other dense neighborhoods in LA do no allow overnight parking at all.” Which you’ve already admitted is false.

    Those places are hard to park because there’s a lot more people living there curb spaces available. Making people pay for the spaces is one way to make spaces more available to those willing to pay for one. What do you propose?

  • Joe Linton

    You wrote “There are also apartments that do not offer parking as an amenity at all, so you have to take your chances parking on the street, or pay for a garage to hold your car.” – or you could just choose not to own a car, as many do in Hollywood, K-town.

  • Slexie

    Oh, ok. I guess because I may work across town I should take my chances waiting for the bus at 2am after a bar-tending shift? Would you want your daughter or wife doing that? Or I could pay $100 for a cab or Uber to take me out to Sherwood Country Club for a catering gig, then I could get finished around 1am and take a cab or Uber back (at surge pricing). Would it be worth it to keep those gigs? Nope. So I lose income, but that’s ok because I’m not paying for a car now, right? So great, my glasses are ready at Costco, I’ll ride my bike to go get them. Despite the many bike paths put on city streets lately, they don’t connect to each other. Still shocked I made it back in one piece. The freedom one has in owning a car is invaluable. I’m not depending on public transit for my job. Especially if I have to take the bus. And I’m getting increasingly irritated with getting demonized because I choose to own a car. When transit catches up and is reliable and goes where I need to go and does that in a timely way, maybe I’ll consider losing my vehicle. I ride my bike and take transit when it’s possible. Those 2 modes of transportation are always what I try to use first. My car is my last choice and I’m not some jerk for having one. Please save your flippant “ditch your car” comments for someone who doesn’t use transit, who doesn’t use a bike. I’m doing my part, despite my outrageous practice of owning a car. The nerve of me!

  • Slexie

    What? I never admitted what I said was false. There is not overnight parking in a lot of dense areas in Los Angeles unless you pay to have a permit as a resident. If you can’t park between 1 and 6am, and that means no one with a permit either, I’m pretty sure that covers the time of night considered “overnight”. Parts of Hollywood Blvd do not allow overnight parking at all. Parts of Silver Lake do not allow parking overnight at all. Would you like me to take a picture of the sign near my apartment as proof? And for the future the latest plan the city has is to take parking off Wilshire permanently for the bus lane, so again, you won’t be able to park there AT ALL. I got a ticket years ago for parking on a street in BH overnight. It wasn’t because I didn’t have a permit. It was because that street doesn’t allow overnight parking AT ALL.

    People are already paying to park at curbed spaces in neighborhoods all over LA. They pay for their permits every year. So like I said, that is already happening. And just to drive the point home, some businesses have bought up the guest permits in those permit parking areas for themselves or their employees. So even if you are a resident with a permit you paid for, it can still be challenging to find a spot in your hood. And yes, it’s no mystery that there are more people than curbed spaces. Many of those people take their car to a parking structure in the area for a fee. Keep in mind, Koreatown, Hollywood, Silver Lake, Echo Park, etc. have 1 and 2 hour parking limits in spaces with and without meters. So even if you park on the street you have to move your car every 2 hours during the day. After 6 or 8 is when that ends. But in WeHo they extended the meter fees to 10pm or midnight, I can’t remember which. (Because that makes sense, let’s get people who have been partying in WeHo to move their cars at 11pm.)

    Now if you’ve read this far, I know you’re dying to know what my solutions are to the issues of parking and commute times. You will never get people out of their cars unless there is a viable alternative to driving. Doubling one’s commute time by using pubic transit is not a viable alternative. Asking citizens to risk their lives by biking every where is not a viable alternative.

    The biking campaign would be way more successful if the bike paths were placed on center medians out of the street, instead of on the street with cars. If the city wants people to bike to work, school, and for errands it has to be safe. There are still cyclists getting killed every week because they are trying to share the road with cars. Put bike lanes in the center median away from cars and you will see way more cyclists. How do I know that? Because thousands and thousands of people in LA County have fallen in love with Ciclavia. Parents will pack their kids into those SUV’s and drive for miles to have a day to ride their bikes with no cars on the road. The new bike lanes now have so few cyclists using them. But from Ciclavia we know the bikers are already there, they don’t want to be on the road with cars. What other proof does the city need? No one is going to take their kids, their family on streets where giant trucks and speeding cars have been for decades. All that crap about taking back the streets is futile, let the cars have the streets. Take the lane? Ha! Good one! More like, “Take Your Life In Your Hands”.

    I’m too tired to lay out all my other solutions. That will have to be for another day.

  • Asher Of LA

    Those places have overnight parking, it’s just not always empty, free, and open to all. So you say they have no overnight parking at all which you’ve conceded is false. They have parking, just not the kind that you like.

    As for your scheme it is hilarious, because you are so wedded to impossible free parking. Plenty of cyclists own cars, and free parking induces them to keep their cars, all else equal. Improving cycling will do nothing to improve the residential parking crunch in East Hollywood or KTown. Lol.

  • calwatch

    There does need to be more self storage outfits that allow storage of cars, relatively close to transit though, with free ins and outs. The only ones I know of which have reasonable prices are the Gateway Plaza garage and the self storage facility by the Sepulveda Metro Orange Line station.

  • Slexie

    What are you talking about? There are places all over the city that do not allow overnight parking at all. That’s what I said. Are you saying the places on Hollywood Blvd. that have signs that say no parking from 1am -6am are false? What about on my block which has signs saying no parking/ tow away 1:30-6am? That’s called no overnight parking AT ALL. Do you understand that? Even with a neighborhood permit, you cannot park there overnight AT ALL. There are similar areas in WeHo, BH, Silver Lake, and all over the city. I’m sorry you don’t get that. I can’t make it any clearer.

    More and safer cycling options would absolutely help the parking crunch. I guess they built those units over the Red Line Station for all the drivers in LA? Where have you been? Many, many people have given up their cars and use a bike, and Uber for longer trips and nightlife. I’m guessing you either don’t get out much or don’t have many friends or you would know more about parking in LA and the cycling options and how limiting they are. BTW: LOL = I got caught. It’s a high pitched, fake laugh after getting caught being wrong or trying to save face. Have a nice day.

  • Slexie

    I agree.

  • Asher Of LA

    That land is too valuable to house cars unless forced to by the government. (Ie, no one would pay enough for parking there to make parking a more profitable use there than retail/housing/office space).

  • calwatch

    I don’t know. The Gateway garage (MTA Building for those who are not familiar with the jargon) was overbuilt because they were planning to build more structures, including an arena, on the site, so there is plenty of parking there. BRT always attracts less development so you could have surface parking or self-storage facilities near there. Or, people that live near walking distance from light rail could sell their spaces or driveways to those who needed to park.


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