Residents seek to opt out of parking permit program

By 2UrbanGirls

Contributing Writer

INGLEWOOD — Local residents are gathering signatures on petitions to opt out of the citywide permit parking program.

Residents showed up in force for the Inglewood Parking and Traffic Commission meeting Sept. 22 where commissioners told residents they could opt out of the program if they desired.

Mayor James Butts said publicly during a recent City Council meeting that the program is flawed.

“This program was put together so fast, there was no committee input,” Butts said.

Commissioners said during the Sept. 22 meeting that they had no involvement in the creation of the parking permit program.

“This body didn’t create the program and had no input on it because it’s under the Inglewood Municipal Code,” said Brett “B.C.” Roberts, who was appointed to the commission by Councilman Eloy Morales.

According to the Inglewood Municipal Code, the Parking and Traffic Commission shall initiate, investigate and make reports and recommendations to [the] Public Works [Department] and the City council concerning all matters affecting the safe and expeditious movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the city.

The commission also “reviews from time to time and as often as the commission may deem advisable, the policies contained in the ordinances and regulations of the city relating to parking, traffic and vehicular safety and related matters and shall make recommendations related to preparation of parking surveys.”

The commission also is supposed to make recommendations on how to use funds received from the operation of parking meters, facilities and traffic control and to conduct public hearings for approving and denying special site wireless telecommunications facilities in the public right of way, which could include digital billboards and new cell phone towers.

A review of the city’s website pertaining to the parking and traffic commission, shows no meeting agendas and/or minutes have been uploaded since mid 2019.

Emails were sent to Public Works Director Luis Atwell, Eloy Castillo, principal engineer, and Peter Puglese, senior traffic engineer, inquiring when commission met to discuss the citywide permit parking program and all emails were returned undeliverable.

The residents say the commission isn’t performing its duties as outlined in the municipal code.

“This body is not transparent and residents are suffering as a direct result,” said Earl Boughton.

The commissioners gave residents an alternative to opt out of the parking permit program.

Residents will be required to create a petition, and have 75% of their neighbors along their block, sign in favor of opting out of the citywide parking permit program.

“My neighbors have already started circulating a petition to opt out,” said Rosa Meza, who lives in the Avenues east of Crenshaw. Many residents living along 90th Street, which becomes Pincay, once you cross Crenshaw, heading to SoFi Stadium, didn’t mince words when it came to describing their experiences dealing with unruly stadium attendees.

“People are relieving themselves on my neighbor’s yard and leaving feces and toilet paper behind,” said one angry resident who lives at the intersection of 90th Street and Crenshaw Boulevard. “When my neighbors and I tell them to stop, they become aggressive.”

“When you call traffic enforcement to come out and enforce the permit parking program, you get told they are all at the stadium, but you see them stalking us when we park on non-game days to ticket us,” said an angry woman who lives near 2nd Avenue and 90th Street.

“I own a house on 118th Street near Yukon,” Ray Hollar said. “My parents bought the home in 1950, and we are in parking zone 11. There are many problems associated with SoFi Stadium especially with the residential parking permit program, and we went to the commission to report those problems.”

Butts explained during the Sept. 28 City Council meeting that the program is also designed to regulate parking for homes with excessive number of cars, who monopolize parking spaces to accommodate friends and family when they return from work.

“This program is meant to [deal with] more than the issue of fans parking in neighborhoods, its meant to address a long-term, chronic, street shortage of parking in neighborhoods, particularly when you have some residents with seven to eight cars in their household,” Butts said. “Every residence can park about three cars in their driveways and two cars in their garage, but many use their garage as storage.”

Butts further explained residents should have enough parking, but people are used to using curb parking as free parking spaces for whatever they want.

“This is something to get adjusted to, and we will be adjusting the program as needed,” Butts  said.

Parking commissioners stated the city would verify signatures, and the city council will have the final say on whether streets will be exempted from the program.