INGLEWOOD — The city’s Public Works department has successfully implemented a citywide permit parking district program to address the incoming influx of cars related to SoFi Stadium and other entertainment venues.
The department began the process in April 2020, asking the City Council to consider an ordinance amending Chapter 3 of the city’s municipal code to implement the program, which would exempt residents in Council District 2.
The city will implement the program citywide although one area will not be activated immediately.
The staff report detailed that District 2 was the “furthest from SoFi Stadium and the Los Angeles Sports Entertainment District and because of single-family type residents and lower density” those residents would experience less non-residential parking intrusion.
The city will still implement parking restrictions, but would only activate them in Council District 2 if necessary.
Permits will be required for any vehicle parked beyond two hours, but from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., no permit is necessary. The initiative aims to preserve quality of life for residents and prevent increased traffic. The program will be enforced with fines and towing and signs will be installed to warn motorists.
According to Public Works Director Luis Atwell, residents will be allowed to register as many vehicles as they wish, although only two of those cars will be allowed on the street during enforcement.
The city is launching an “IPark&Go” remote parking and shuttle program for visitors to the stadium, which has limited on-site parking. The program offers more than 4,000 parking spaces throughout Inglewood and surrounding areas for people to park before attending SoFi Stadium.
Visitors can then catch shuttles to the Inglewood Intermodal Transit Facility, near the stadium. The trip will typically take 30 minutes or less.
The IPark&Go program is operated by LAZ Parking.
Some residents questioned what they considered excessive amounts of documentation to determine residency, voicing concerns about addresses on driver’s licenses not matching home addresses.
Bill Thompson, a representative for LAZ Parking who administers the Inglewood program, said that wouldn’t be an issue.
“ID doesn’t matter,” he said. “Utility bill or proof of residence works.”
The city is requiring that addresses on vehicle registration must match the resident’s address.
Thompson previously worked in the Inglewood Police Department, where he reportedly was a former partner of Butts.
Butts was previously investigated for allegations of awarding contracts to companies based on their hiring of his family and friends, after a complaint was filed with the district attorney’s office by a former member of the City Council.
The issue arose when companies competing for the city’s trash hauling contract in 2012, told investigators they were alerted to the mayor’s brother needing a job. His brother was eventually hired by the company that won the contract.
Thompson previously held a position with the Forum, as the liaison to the Inglewood Police Department, to schedule deployment for law enforcement staffing.
Parking in the city is an ongoing issue, and some residents welcome the new permit system as it will ensure there is ample parking for the residents.
“I am glad we are finally getting something that is going to help with the parking crisis in the area,” said D. Doe, who didn’t want to be fully identified. “I’m tired of cars being left for days, people parking that don’t live in the neighborhood and people with way too many cars that aren’t even registered and I am looking forward to being able to park in front of my own home.”
Parking became a sore subject during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, with the city forced to allow residents to park in city-owned lots along Arbor Vitae and city parking structures, due to the lack of parking during the stay-home mandate.
The city also caught the ire of residents in 2017, when the Inglewood Park Cemetery doubled as an overflow parking lot for events at the Forum, at the city’s request.
“It is just wrong, at the base, at the core, it is wrong,” said Karen Keyser. “At no time should a cemetery be considered for parking.”
Cemetery officials said they provided the parking at the city’s request.
“The city of Inglewood asked Inglewood Park Cemetery, along with some other establishments around the city, the Hollywood Park Casino and local schools,” said Rick Miller, CEO of Inglewood Park Cemetery.
The city continues to face challenges as there aren’t enough parking spaces for the city’s residents, let alone the estimated tens of thousands expected when the NFL season begins next month.
“We are becoming hostages to the city because of the stadium and we were constantly told this would be at no cost to the residents,” said Earl Anderson, who lives in District 4. “First Metro makes us pay to drive in the carpool lanes, now I have to pay to park in front of my house, and my rent is scheduled to increase soon. This is ridiculous.”
Mayor Butts is adamant the citywide permit parking is necessary to ensure the residents aren’t overrun by venue attendees trying to avoid paying to park.
“This program is to ensure that when the time comes, and when the arenas open, on event days we will be able to protect neighborhood parking from people who chose to disobey the signs and directions and attempt to park for free in neighborhoods,” Butts said.