Zip Up That Gadfly

jackass.jpgSo I decided to follow the sugggestion of commenter Greg Cohn, who in regards to the awesome post by Matt Hals about the state of Echo Park Lake and its environs, thought it would be better if we contributors made more informed rants rather than just played at being “opinionated gadfly” out to waste the time of our various councilpersons and readership with our uninformed observations

Personally I’m all for being an opinionated gadlfy ó it’s much more cathartic…at least initially. But this time I decided why not see how the other side lives. So before I acted upon my initial raging opinated urge to firebomb the fucking Mercedes pictured at right hanging its impudent fat ass a couple feet over the end of the curb and blocking access to my tight parking space, first I thought What Would Greg Do? And the answer was to calm down and run upstairs to call Larry H. Parker for an idea what kind of jailtime and potential restitution I’d be looking at for such a wanton and reckless act of vandalism. It wasn’t pretty.

With that option out, I let my middle finger do the walking through the white pages until I found the phone number to report parking violators (213/485-4184). After some time on hold, I spoke with a dispatcher who took down the make, model, plate number and location of the transgressing vehicle.

“Is there any estimate as to how long it will take to send an officer out?” I inquired. The dispatcher told me that such information is unavailable. “We’ll have a car there as soon as one’s available.”

Grrrrr. But being that “American Idol” wasn’t on tonight and I had some time to kill, I sat by the porch with a Molotov cocktail in my throwing hand and a Zippo in the other. Whether it was a fine or flambÈ, this car wasn’t getting away clean on my watch ó or at least not until I got bored and gave up, which was a few minutes later.

Couple hours pass and I go outside to take the trash out. The damn Mercedes is still parked there taunting me with its sleek German ass still jutting into the driveway. But wait! Was there something on the windshield? An envelope perhaps?


And inside? Hell if there wasn’t a citation to the ding of $40. Informed unimpulsive actions rock!

15 thoughts on “Zip Up That Gadfly”

  1. Your ability to navigate byzantine public agencies never ceases to amaze. After three weeks of too few parking spots on our block we reported a huge Caddie that appeared to be dumped — in a spot that could easily accomodate three compacts. The DOT came and cited the guy. The next day they towed the sucker. Now we finger-paint ‘Tow Me’ on malingerers to give them three chances to escape the car pound.

  2. If it’s really blocking the driveway, they will tow it! I called the same number (213-485-4184) once and they came and towed the offending vehicle later that night. First they wrote the ticket, and after a while they came and towed. It must have been a slow night, ’cause there was a parking enforcement car parked across the street waiting. There was something gratifying about a tow truck at 1:30AM or so, knowing that
    1) It’ll take $100+ for them to get their car back and
    2) The person who’s car it was did not think it important enough to get out of bed and deal with it (they made a hell of a racket towing it!) Therefore they hopefully learnt that they should be more aware.

    My neighbor called a few days prior, we seemed to have a rash of them, so it was my turn. I did not want him to get a “reputation” with the city, so I figured it’s only fair…

    I have the “blocked driveway” number saved – hopefully I won’t have to use it again. If you guys have a problem like this, that number is cool, so put it in a good place.

  3. I have done this, too. After YEARS of leaving notes on cars to no avail, I finally found the # and the parking goons came right out and wrote tickets! Yay!

    They will not tow the car unless it is truly making it impossible or near impossible for you to get out of the driveway, but $40 tickets for a few of my inconsiderate neighbors have worked the charm that has kept my driveway unblocked for months now.

    One guy (BMW, natch) banged on our door, called us a bunch of names and insisted that he was not blocking our driveway. Yes, that’s right. I am all powerful and can cause the parking police to write tickets based upon my whim! Fear me!

  4. I actually have that number programmed in my cell phone from back in the days when I used to get blocked into my parking space from people parking in the alley behind me.

  5. They will also come and tow away or move cars that have blocked your car in, including double parked cars. This can be helpful when you don’t want to incur liability for pushing a Mercedes around with your van’s big ass, diamond-plate steel bumper in order to get out of a spot. I’ve never had to call to have this done, but I’ve seen it done to other folks cars.

  6. wow, this blog has turned into one big bitch fest. seriously that “echo park is sooooooo ghetto i can’t even look at it” post still infuriates me.

  7. So “Kelly?” Does your bitching about our bitching somehow make you less of a bitcher? Or just a more superior one?

  8. This happens to me all of the time – I’ve got the same number programmed in my phone. Unfortunately, the last time it happened, I didn’t notice the car’s ass in my driveway until I hit it. Which would’ve felt good – even great – except I did more damage to my car than theirs. Do you think it’s legal to paint the curb of my driveway red for all the oblivious assholes out there?

  9. It’s almost certainly illegal to paint the curb yourself. But I don’t think the city or parking citation guys care. They probably just appreciate the extra revenue, and the ticket writer improves his average. I’d suggest that you make sure it’s exactly the same color, and do more than just your driveway, do your neighbors too – that way it won’t look so obvious :)

  10. “Kelly”, I’m not sure how Matt’s post about Echo Park Lake improvements is bitchy. Matt sees the beauty and potential of the park and wants to help it reach that potential by providing construction criticism.

    Your lack of reading comprehension is evident in your comments on that post – A35MMLIFE made reference to being afraid because of gunshots – not graffiti. And your assumption that everyone who complains or is concerned about crime is white is another indication of your ignorance.

  11. Parking tickets – like a gun, can be used for good or evil. I think sean would appreciate that sentiment…hehe.

  12. i came home to a stupid car blocking my driveway. i googled “car blocking driveway los angeles” and found your post. i just called and they are sending an officer. woo hoo!

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