By Cynthia Gibson
LOS ANGELES — Parking enforcement in the city of Los Angeles will resume Oct. 15.
The City Council approved the Transportation Committee’s motion to reinstate parking enforcement by a 13-1 Sept. 30. Councilman David Ryu cast the dissenting vote.
The resumption of parking enforcement comes after a seven-month relaxation of parking regulations that went into effect after the City Council ratified a declaration of local emergency March 16 due to the coronavirus.
According to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation website starting Oct. 15, the department of Parking Enforcement and Traffic Control will resume parking enforcement and impounding, where applicable, for residential street sweeping, expired registration tags on a vehicle, overnight or oversized parking districts, rush hour and gridlock zone parking restrictions and abandoned vehicles (72 hour rule).
Vehicles displaying recently expired permits within preferential parking districts also will be subject to citations.
The Department of Transportation will delay impounding vehicles that are being slept in pending a report back to the City Council in 30 to 60 days. The department also will delay the booting and impounding of vehicles that accumulate five or more delinquent citations until Jan. 1.
Enforcement is ongoing for metered parking, time limits within preferential parking districts for vehicles without a valid or recently expired permit, posted time limit zones in residential and commercial areas, all posted temporary no-parking signs, no blocking emergency access (alleyways, fire hydrants, etc.), colored curb zones and parking restrictions for city-owned lots.
According to the Transportation Committee’s report, the city revenue from parking enforcement has decreased by 50% since the start of the city’s emergency measures on March 16. Prior to the declared emergency, the projected parking citation revenue was $135 million or an average of $11.25 million per month.
At the Sept. 30 City Council meeting, four of the five written public comments s requested that the City Council reject the Transportation Committee’s motion to resume parking enforcement.
Jazmine Johnson urged the council to put the economic plight of Los Angeles residents above decreasing income from parking revenue.
“While the decline in revenue due to relaxed parking enforcement is understandably of great concern to the city, the livelihood of its residents must be prioritized,” Johnson wrote. “Thousands of families, especially those facing financial insecurity prior to the pandemic, would be greatly impacted by any additional costs incurred as the result of a parking citation.”
Los Angeles resident Cooper Kenward complained that residents should not have to make up for the parking revenue shortfall due to the coronavirus.
“Why resume parking enforcement now?” he asked. “The loss of revenue is a challenge for the city. But recovering that revenue stream should not come on the backs of L.A. residents who are still dealing with the economic and social impacts of COVID-19.”
In addition to the regulations, the Transportation Department’s plan to resume parking enforcement included an economic relief program to assist low-income individuals and individuals experiencing homelessness with outstanding parking citation debt as well as relief programs to allow for citation amnesty.
At Mayor Eric Garcetti’s directive, an additional program scheduled to begin Nov. 2 will allow motorists an early payment discount. The Early Pay LA program will award a $20 discount for citations paid within 48 hours.
Cynthia Gibson is a freelance reporter for Wave Newspapers who covers Culver City and West Los Angeles. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.