Parking Is About To Get Worse

Living within walking distance of Los Feliz Village means never having to park there (which is fortunate, considering you can’t park there for free anymore). And what’s more, I can easily walk to just about anywhere I want to go — grocery stores, Thai take-out, even the movies. So take that, seminal new wave band Missing Persons: Some people do walk in LA.

But occasionally I like to put on a pair of pants that don’t close with a drawstring and go out for a night on the town. Usually, this means shelling out a few bucks to park. And I always counted myself lucky that I didn’t live in one of those insanely expensive east coast cities that charges as much as $20 for a single evening of parking. But it looks like our luck is about to run out.

Mayor Villaraigosa has proposed a plan to lease several city-owned parking structures to private investors, and in turn allow the owners of other structures — in a move I don’t totally understand — to triple their rates over the next five years. That means the cost of parking for dinner and a movie at the Arclight Hollywood could go to ten bucks.

In a way, I’m relieved. More expensive parking means I’ll make more of an effort to find street parking somewhere in the vicinity and just walk to my destination. I don’t mind strolling a few blocks if I can leave my car in a decent neighborhood, and it prevents me from waiting for ten minutes behind some jackass who doesn’t care that he’s backing up traffic six cars deep because he absolutely has to have a spot that’s currently being vacated by some poor bastard who has to do a 13-point turn because the selfsame jackass is hovering four feet from his bumper.

The real down side is that I’m much less likely to be able to take part in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse wherein mysterious trench-coated men chase me through a parking garage.

I dunno. What do you think? How do you handle pain-in-the-butt parking situations? Street parking, like me? Take the bus? Or just pay the stupid fee?

6 thoughts on “Parking Is About To Get Worse”

  1. Just pay the fee and move on. You can burn more in gas and waste more time looking for street parking than simply parking and paying the fee.

  2. Tripling the Arclite’s parking wd mk me less likely 2 go there – or carpool? I can’t walk from Western/Hollywood subwy after dark!

  3. I hate to pay for parking, so I look for street parking when I’m not running too late. If I’m going to something in the L.A. Live vicinity on a weekend, and it’s out before midnight, I’ll take the Red Line as that ends up being cheaper than parking. I’ve gotten pretty lucky in regards to street parking there too though.

  4. For me, it’s probably no surprise that the option nearest and dearest to me is to bike. My two-wheels came in very handy on Christmas Eve afternoon when I did a last-minute gift run involving three different stops along Sunset Boulevard through Silver Lake and East Hollywood. Had I driven I could have easily added 2.7 metric tons of frustration and another 20 minutes or more to the spree just trying to find parking spaces.

    Certainly a bike won’t be practical in all instances — especially those requiring you to bust out the fancy pants. But for those more casual drawstring outings with a short radius, such as to the Arclight, you should totally think about giving it a spin sometime. What you could also find is that a bike broadens your reach. For example, If you walked or bused it to a screening you probably wouldn’t make the trip for ice cream at Mashti Malone’s on La Brea afterward, but on a bike you just might.

  5. Of course, there is also the option on not patronizing the businesses in areas where it is too expensive to park. I find that there are many places in town I simply do not venture because there is no inexpensive parking and/or transit is not a viable option.

    While a transit-based town is certainly a laudable goal, you can’t price it into existence. There has to be a balance between current access and future goals, otherwise you are in danger of pricing out the businesses that attract patrons in the first place.

  6. I seem to remember that several years ago, our city council (Eric, I’m talking to you!) was REALLY pushing people to park in the Arclight lot and walk or use the shuttle (now abandoned) to cruise Hollywood. What happened? Why penalize people now for using that lot,(or others) because it is supported by the city? People will merely stop coming to Hollywood to do business… or in the long run, move out of the area, because living there, communing there, is so damn expensive. Long run, you lose a tax base. This all seems sooooo short sighted. And a good way to alienate common citizens.

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