Parking In LA

I don’t get it. Why do people get so mad about parking tickets? I just listened to a story on KPCC about traffic cops in LA and the rise of assaults against them. They’ve been shot at, beaten, carjacked and the numbers have been rising over the last few years from about 5 reports a year to 45 per year. (The story won’t be posted on KPCC’s website until tomorrow, so I’m doing this from post flossing-while-listening, memory.)

Why are parking tickets the most evil thing in our city? I get tickets from time to time and yes, it can be annoying. But what annoys me is that I was the one who blew it — didn’t put enough money in the meter, parked outside the posted rules, forgot it was street cleaning day, what-have-you. Why blame the traffic cops and the city for your mistake?

Parking rules in this city are not always clear, I know that. Some of the signs can be very confusing (or even hidden by large trees/plants) but I look at the sign decipherage as more of a mental challenge, a puzzle, a way to stave off early-onset-Alzheimers.

Take some personal responsibility and don’t hate on the traffic cops.

Photo from LilHils photostream on Flickr.

14 thoughts on “Parking In LA”

  1. Why blame the traffic cops and the city for your mistake?

    Because, far to frequently, it’s not. Search the site for some of the older threads on parking tickets and you’ll find a litany of downright evil behavior on the part of LA’s parking enforcement officers, including tons of examples of them issuing tickets to legally parked cars. I’m not advocating anybody assault them, but I would say the same thing to them that I’ve said about the LAPD: If you don’t people to treat you like a fucking dirtbag, then don’t act like a fucking dirtbag.

  2. If the experiences with parking people are anything like mine have been people have reason to be angry. Parking officers in LA do as they please without any regards to the actual parking rules. I’m a careful parker who obeys all signs posted every time I park; I don’t take established parking rules for granted. In my days living in the city I have been threatened with tickets well BEFORE (not 3 minutes, I’m talking 15 minutes) the time I needed to move, while I was in my car getting ready to leave. And I, as well as many others in my neighborhood, have been towed when filming was going on. The parking officers claim that signs have been posted for days while they in fact went up mysteriously during the night. Happens ALL the time.

  3. 5000! is right. It doesn’t warrant attacking them, but after receiving a ticket while using my hazards when i was trying to move, i verbally assaulted them – something I rarely do. and you know what? it felt great.

  4. I was in Oakland recently, and there were both billboards and bumper stickers (on police vehicles) reminding people that assaulting traffic cops is a crime. Isn’t assaulting anyone a crime? Aren’t people supposed to know this?

  5. if the city got out of the parking tickets as punitive revenue scam and dropped the third party private company issuing of fines , including those for red light cameras they would find a less corrupt ticketing system , a more compliant and understanding citizenry and be able to keep all of the proceeds . why doesn’t the city want to clean up the mess they’ve created ? money .

  6. Parking Enforcement is just that, enforcement. They have no public relation skills whatsoever. They show zero compassion and don’t ever allow anyone to bend any rules. They are much more efficiant than our local police are.

    I got a parking ticket once, because he said he saw my meter expired before I put additional coins in the meter. No, he hadn’t started to write the ticket yet, he just saw me put money into an expired meter, and that was grounds to still give me a ticket according to that parking douchbag. Of course this was during the height of the pinkberry parking crisis in west hollywood. So it was a sensitive time.

  7. Well now then this sure stirred up wealth of hostility. I’ve gotten my share over the years, most were earned, got out of quite a few by making the court appearance. Never got into a confrontation with any, not worth the effort or hassle as in the end they have the ticket book and control of the situation. Tyranny…you bet.

  8. 1. Fines wildly disproportionate with the offense.
    2. Private (kickback paying) tow yards that charge exorbitant overnight fees after 5 P.M., who then take more time than a legless octogenarian does crossing the street to release your car to you,laughing at you the whole time because they know they’re basically running a big extortion racket.
    3. “Judges” (i.e. kangaroo court administrators) who are willfully blind to exculpatory evidence in order to avoid having to reimburse you.

    Need any more reasons?

  9. I can’t tell you how many times I parked legally and received tickets anyway; when it came time to contest them, I had no “proof” to show otherwise.

    Then there are the phantom tickets that get sent to you only after it was supposedly delinquent (but you never received).

    Then if you try to contest the tickets, you either lose automatically (DENIED!), or they send you your letter back because they’re illiterate and don’t know how to read. A prime example documented here on was my saga in 2004 with a $65 ticket I received when my car was parking in my assigned space in my private parking lot at work.

    It took over 4 months for me to be cleared of that ticket, all the while knowing that I hadn’t done anything wrong, but fully realizing that at any point, the Parking Bureau could just decide that I was guilty and make me pay anyway.

    That said, I’ve never come close to assaulting a parking maid.

    But if my experience is typical that of the average LA citizen, then I’m personally not very surprised.

  10. that’s just it … they make mistakes … and then the ticket CANNOT be undone. their dispute system is a joke. i have a hybrid with carpool tags and was given an expired meter ticket … and after communicating with them for months i just paid it, because there is no way to prove yourself in the right despite all the state DMV records.

  11. Here’s what I have learned today: I am clearly (knocking wood) the luckiest car parker in Los Angeles.

    HJB, I don’t understand — if you have a hybrid with carpool decals, are you allowed to park at meters without paying? I am sincerely asking since I know that hybrids do have special things going for them (tax breaks, carpool decals, etc.).

  12. The reason people are mad is because because the business of parking tickets is mostly about revenue and not about making the city a better place. Parking officers are part of a corrupt system they take jobs doing things that are patently unfair at best and often illegal. The worst part is the undo burden this can cause to the people who can least afford it. These people often have to park on the streets in the most victimized area.

  13. julia,

    until the end of 2007 hybrids with stickers can park at meters (but must obey posted time limits). but i wouldn’t do it … unless you want a ticket despite the regulation.

    i usually put money in the meters anyway … until that one day, in little tokyo, when i didn’t have any change.

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