Parking Karma

If you live in LA, you KNOW what a pain parking can be. Here’s a simple round-up of the last week in my parking Karma woes. And sadly, it’s typical.

So, I hit the the new DMV in Hollywood, (Hollywood and Western) which by the way, was amazingly fast. I was in and out with a new registration in hand in 15 minutes! Parking however, was a nightmare. As in none. After much circling of the block, I finally found a place three blocks away. Which actually was good, since I burned a couple of calories walking. I’m gearing up to eat my way through the holidays and every step helps.

Anyway, I parked, put my six quarters in and realized that the meter was broken. Damn! I searched in vain for something in my car to make a sign with, but nada. I left, figuring that the parking patrol would see it was broken and spare me. Yeah, right!
I returned to find a big fat $40 ticket.

Okay, maybe I’ll call to try and resolve it without paying, but I doubt it. I’m too damn lazy (or busy) to spend two hours or more trying to get it rescinded.

Then Saturday, I ducked into my favorite Hollywood coffee shop, Caffe, Etc. for a quick buzz. No parking on the street, but yes! There was a yellow loading zone. Now, I’ve always heard that loading zones were okay to park in on weekends, but I’m usually to wary to try it. For good reason.
I returned to find another $40 ticket.

But one sweet note; I was in Studio City for lunch the next day and popped a quarter in, and low and behold! A quarter got me a whole hour! Yay! Cheap parking in LA. There ARE some good parking deals in Los Angeles.

14 thoughts on “Parking Karma”

  1. yellows are ok but you gotta know the rules, of which i won’t divulge but they’re out there…hell i think they’re even in’s archives….

  2. I’ll give away the secret: you can never ever park in a yellow zone, especially not in downtown. never, don’t do it.

    And tammara, that meter is clearly not broken, it has 22 minutes left on it!


  3. no, silly…. that’s the meter in Studio City that for a quarter gave me an hour!

    And there IS the urban legend that you can park in the yellow zone on Saturday’s (not true) or Sunday’s
    (anybody want to test it?)

  4. i thought you could park at a broken meter? i even asked parking enforcement about this and they said yes.

  5. If you notice on the picture there is a broken meter hotline. You call that # and give them the meter number and letters and tell them it is broken and there is no other nearby parking, and they allow you like an hour and a half of free parking. They even note that if some dumbfuck meter maid still tickets you that the call is on the record and you can send in some shit to mitigate the ticket. I do this all the time, including weekends (I think it’s a voice mail then), it works better than a plastic bag and is cheaper than a homeless guy with a paper clip. Sometimes I have abused the system I must admit, I guess this should readjust my meter Karma, giving away this free bit of obvious info.

    Speaking of, i took my son and nephews down to Broadway to haggle cheap toys and feel like bonafide urban Mexicans. I parked down 4th and we came to my car 3 fucken minutes after 4pm and my car was already towed. I even made the kids run the last block, and at first glance of my missing car I crapped my pants thinking some crackhead stole it. It totally scared the shit out of my kids and turned me off to DTLA (and I am the ultimate DTLA booster), luckily this cool old black city worker on a street cleaner rolled by, comforted us and gave us all apples which was made me genuinely love and hate the shit out of LA in the same moment. It cost me $250 ($150 to tow a car 5 damn blocks should be illegal. The towing place also is smart and hires big fat cholos so nobody trips on them.

  6. I got a ticket on a broken meter in Hollywood too. I don’t understand how they can consider a meter fare has run out if you can’t put change in the meter to begin with! I paid it, after going cross eyed trying to find logic in city policy. 2 hours of my life fighting it was not worth it.

  7. As of this time last year. Calling or reporting online a broken meter, is really only one way to contest a ticket. Calling the line does not give you an hour free and you can get still get a ticket for parking at a meter. Giving you an hour is at the discretion of the parking patroller. The law is that if you park at a meter and you know it’s broken, you’re “in effect” stealing from the city, so they have every right to ticket you. The parking patrol lady I spoke with last year said, “If you call the number and you still park there, some of these people will ticket you out of spite.” In the Melrose/Fairfax area, that dick with be Morales.

    Now, considering that our “parking ticket expenditures” just living in the Fairfax district exceeded about $573 per year (it was actually more since my husband generally didn’t pay the ticket until it octupled in price), consider me speaking from experience. Ha!

  8. Re: Yellow Zones, they are only free all day SUNDAYS, not Saturdays. Here’s what the LA City Nerd way back in the day:

    “Yellow Loading Zones are open as unrestricted parking after 6pm. According to LADOT, “in the City of Los Angeles yellow curb zones are effective 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday (but not on Sunday).” This especially helpful in Hollywood off of Hollywood Boulevard (check out Orange Avenue north of the Boulevard) and in Westwood Village. Related, but not as frequent, Green Zones (15 or 20 minutes parking) are only enforced 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.”

  9. Male announcer: The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in a red zone.

    Female announcer: The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in a red zone.

    Male announcer: The red zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in a white zone.

    Female announcer: No, the white zone is for loading. Now, there is no stopping in a RED zone.
    Male announcer: The red zone has always been for loading.

    Female announcer: Don’t you tell me which zone is for loading, and which zone is for unloading.

    Male announcer: Look Betty, don’t start up with your white zone shit again. There’s just no stopping in a white zone.

    Female announcer: Oh really, Vernon? Why pretend, we both know perfectly well what this is about. You want me to have an abortion.

    Male announcer: It’s really the only sensible thing to do, if its done safely. Therapeutically there’s no danger involved.

  10. fabooj, someone is dicking you around. Call the number and report a meter and see what they tell you when you note there is no other available parking. A meter maid may still give you a ticket (although the dispatcher supposedly notifies them of the broken meter and caller’s car) but you have the call on record and there is a simple mail-in process to mitigate the ticket.

    Trust me, Ive done this, and recieved tickets (twice by the pantry) and got them erased with this simple measure. If you do not belive me try it out, all you have to do is assert there are no other parking spaces, most of the time the dispatcher actually asks you. Mind you my mom works for the city and has several parking “hook ups” in that dept., which is where I initially got that info from. But it works, try it!

  11. god it’s so damn frustrating.

    I parked downtown on saturday and looked at the meter “1 hour parking 8 am to 6pm except Saturday and Sunday” .. sweet.. come back an hour later to a ticket saying parked at an expired meter. Double check the meter and then look at another one, all the rest of them say only “Except Sunday” .. I took a picture of the meter and sent in a letter contesting it.. we’ll see what happens.

    Parking in this city makes me ride my bike more.

  12. the rules:

    you can NEVER park at WHITE curbs
    you CAN park at YELLOW curbs all day Sunday and from 6PM-7AM Monday-Saturday.

    from the city code:

    No person shall stop, stand or park a vehicle between the hours of 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM on any day except Sunday in a commercial loading zone (aka yellow curb), except
    that commercial vehicles may stop or stand for the purpose of loading or unloading freight for the time necessary therefor, but not to exceed 30 minutes, except as provided in Section 88.01.1 of this chapter. Passenger vehicles may stop or stand for the purpose of loading or unloading passengers and their personal baggage, and then only for the time necessary therefor but in no event for more than five minutes. (Amended by Ord. No.
    170,019, Eff. 10/21/94.)

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