Last Saturday’s LA Times has an interesting piece about “Phantom Parking”:
Aggrieved locals say restaurant owners who are eager to expand are lining up phantom parking spaces to satisfy city requirements, routinely claiming spots that belong to or have been leased by other eateries, print shops or clothing boutiques. The practice leaves customers and valet vigilantes, particularly on weekends, jockeying on crowded streets for an inadequate number of spaces.
The issue of problematic valets is an item I’ve wanted to touch on for some time – especially the valet setups on Hollywood Blvd. that create blocks of jammed traffic at peak times – however, the Times article brings up an interesting point of view that warrants consideration:
Instead of Los Angeles businesses being required to accomodate incoming traffic, shouldn’t they instead be appealing more to local clientelle?
Some cities are trying to encourage neighborhoods to become more pedestrian-friendly and less car-centric. Under proposed rules in Seattle, Shoup said, the city would stop requiring businesses to supply off-street parking in several districts.
“We’ve got expensive housing but free parking,” Shoup said of Los Angeles.
“We’ve got our priorities the wrong way around.”
With this in mind, maybe parking is actually too cheap.