As many of you know Caryn and I run an art gallery downtown. It’s at 549 West 23rd street, which is just between Figureoa and Flower streets. Our two year anniversary is this Saturday and we’ve actually been in the space for almost 2 and a half years. One of the reasons we chose the space where the gallery is was because it was crucial that we have a driveway and a loading door. Very regularly we need to actually drive a car into the gallery for one reason or another. So when we found the space were the gallery is now located we were very excited as it had very large double doors and a driveway that we use all the time.
This entire side of the street used to be a no parking zone which was fine by us, but in the past week the city has started installing parking meters all the way down the street, which is also fine. Except that one of them is right in front of our driveway. They put in the meter right where the sidewalk dips down to become driveway and pained the parking spot right in front of it.
What about the fact that this is a drive way doesn’t make sense here? Clearly this is no good, because there’s sure to be a car parked there anytime we need to use it. So what can I do? I called the city Department of Transportation and talked to someone who explained that “well, someone must have told them to put one in there” but promised to have someone actually from that department call me back shortly.
If anyone has any suggestions of other courses of action, I’d really appreciate it. In the meantime, I’ll chronicle whatever happens with this here.
UPDATE #1: [same day 1:55 PM] Just got a call back from someone who said that they thought the driveway was abandoned and will be over to look at it right away. Not bad…
UPDATE #2: [same day 3:27 PM] Thanks to Kevin’s post linking to mine, the mayors office has taken note of the situation and I just got a call from them asking that if DOT doesn’t take care of this in a timely manor to call them directly and they will step in.
Viva la blog power!
UPDATE #3: [Nov 11 2:30 PM] The LA Times just called with some questions about the situation.
UPDATE #4: [Nov 12] Steve Harvey wrote about it in his LA Times column “Only In L.A.” – todays issue: Portrait of an Overzealous City Parking Revenue Planner
UPDATE #5: [Nov 16] Since I haven’t heard anything I call Doane Liu at the Mayors office back to let him know there’s still no word. A few hours later I start getting CC’d on e-mails between him and others at the office saying someone else has already taken care of it. I e-mail him and let him know that taken care of or not, I haven’t heard anything and the spot it still out front. Shortly there after I got a call from someone else at the Mayors office saying that I should hear from someone at LADOT within the next 24 hours.
UPDATE #6: [Nov 17] We came in to a voice mail this morning that was sent at 7:50PM last night by Allen Willis from the LADOT who said he just found out about the situation and had ordered the spot removed today. If a crew doesn’t show up to get rid of it today I’m supposed to call him back on his cell phone so he can look into it.
UPDATE #7: [Nov 17 4 PM] The meter has been removed but the spot on the street is still painted marking it as a parking spot.