Mike Dukakis Finally Doesn’t Tank At Something

“Park it right over there, soldier!”

He’ll nevereverever live down the picture above, but it only took former Massachusetts Governor and current UCLA teacher and part-time Westwood resident Michael “The Duke” Dukakis 18 years to find a modicum of redemption from his resounding defeat to Bush The First in the 1988 presidential election… in the form of parking activism.

With today’s frontpage story the L.A. Times’ Hector Becerra is reporting that Dukakis is victorious following a protracted battle against chronic “apron parkers,” drivers in the university’s vicinity who station their vehicles across driveway aprons so as to block sidewalks and streets.

“It’s a disaster,” he’s quoted as saying about the long-accepted custom — not the eternally goofy photo of him pretending to be playing tank commando. “Beyond being illegal, it’s dangerous. You get two SUVs with their rear ends sticking out into the street and you end up with a one-way road. It’s time to end it.”

And the end is near. This January parking enforcement officers are scheduled to quit turning a blind eye to this illegal practice and begin aggressively ticketing violating vehicles. And with an estimated 5,700 residents’ automobiles plus untold student-commuters scavenging for a measly 857 legal curb spaces in the village’s northern reaches that’s gonna mean chaos for the citizens and cha-ching-a-ling for the city.

9 thoughts on “Mike Dukakis Finally Doesn’t Tank At Something”

  1. I’m sorry, but the whiny kids at UCLA need to just live without cars. If there’s any part of Los Angeles where you can easily get by without a car, it’s Westwood, ESPECIALLY, if you’re a student and live near campus. If you get rid of students’ cars in Westwood, you’ll eliminate most of the parking AND the traffic problems.

    Simple solution: UCLA should stop issuing parking permits to students who live within 2 miles of campus. They should charge double normal rates to students who live between 2 and 5 miles. It will make a huge difference.

    We can’t keep them from buying parking on a daily basis, but it will still make an impact. Less traffic, more parking and thinner college students. Sounds like a winner to me.

  2. Um, yeah, in SF, he’d get his ass whopped for such action. I’m not getting a good visual from the description but, if the car leaves enough room for a wheelchair to get by on the sidewalk and a car to get down the street, then can’t we all get along?

  3. Don Hosek, you’re a moron. It shows how little you know about student life. The campus isn’t the only destination for students, many of them have to work to pay for double-digit increases in tuition and housing costs. Many also take up internships. Most live outside the area and since there are no subways that run to the LAX, it’s a pain without a car to visit friends and family. NONE of these things are provided in Westwood and that’s why students get around the city like 97% of us do–by driving.

    Why don’t YOU take the bus for 4 straight years like you want these students to do. What galls me about this case is that there were no student and community input on such a serious matter. No meetings, NOTHING. No studies done on the effects of the policy specifically to the campus community, so proponents are just blowing hot-air. Dukakis’ let-them-take-the-bus-and-eat-cake comment just makes it all that more insulting.

    The parking prohibition would make the problem worse not better. There are about 5,000 cars that will spillover to the surrounding communities.

  4. Perhaps they can have district parking for residents. And what about those who live in westwood village and walk to campus.

  5. WestwoodNC,
    Dukakis does take the bus. He even takes the Culver City bus from Ackerman to LAX. I think he would be the first to admit that the transit agencies could deliver a better service.

    The city isn’t creating new laws, it is enforcing existing ones. I don’t think parking enforcement needs community input or permission ticket illegally parked cars.

    Additionally, you shouldn’t play the “tuition increase” card. Owning a car is costly. Check out this link that breaks down the cost of ownership.


    UCLA offers lots of transportation alternatives/options. Shuttles, subsidized bus passes, Flexcar access, rideshare match, bike parking, and the list goes on.

  6. Westwood NC:
    I’ve spent plenty of time to know that the parking situation has been bad for years, and has only been allowed to get worse and worse. Why should that part of the city be exempt from parking restrictions enforced elsewhere?
    Hosek is at least offering a solution, instead of just putting up with the problem.
    Indeed, students could, and should, learn how to use public transportation or move off campus. Public transportation sucks, but I guarantee you once white kids from affluent families start using it things will get changed for the better.

    CD: No, there isn’t space for wheelchairs to get by. This has been one of the complaints for years.

    And lets not forget, UCLA has such a parking problem they’ll be infamously associated with liberally giving handicapped passes to their athletes.

  7. Most Bruins within two miles don’t drive to campus, though. This is just storage for their cars. They should do what Berkeley has successfully done: find some unused piece of land (in Berkeley’s case, a warehouse parking lot about four miles from campus) and use it as car storage. Unfortunately, long term parking is this town is nonexistent except at the airport. Find a transit accessible location, gate iy, and charge a decent fee.

  8. Hey WestwoodNC, I did four years without a car in fucking Claremont. I lived both on and off campus, I walked, took public transit, and rode a bicycle.

    And I’m thinking that given that the cost of owning a car is a minimum of $400/month, living without a car can make a lot more employment possibilities work out just fine.

    There are loads of buses which serve UCLA. When I was considering doing grad school there, I would have used those to get on campus even though I have a car (and a legal parking space to go with it). Hell, I generally don’t drive that much now. I drove to work on Wednesday, and that was the first time my car had moved in almost two weeks.

    The world hasn’t changed that much that college students NEED to have cars now. It’s just that they’re a bunch of spoiled whiners. You only prove my point.

  9. Oh yeah, I think with westwoodnc’s whine, I’ll have to cheer for USC (not that I care, my BA is from a division III school and my master’s from a school which doesn’t even have a football field, let alone a team).

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