Broken Parking Meters Along Marina Channel: Sign of Budgetary Badness to Come?

img_1521In recent weeks, I have noticed a very large number of broken parking meters along Via Marina, overlooking the Marina del Rey Channel. As I have mentioned before, this is one of my favorite Los Angeles area spots, and is a very popular spot for people to park their cars, watch the boats come and go, eat, snooze, walk, take their dogs for walks, hit the beach, have sex (yeah, I’ve inadvertently seen that at least twice), etc.

These broken meters cause two major problems. First, they cut down on the number of allowable spots, making it impossible for many area residents and visitors to park there. Today, and two days ago, I had to pull into at least 6 different spots with broken meters, and walk along the meters, to search for one that was operating. As the picture above indicates, the signs on and near the meters clearly prohibit parking at such meters when they’re broken. Second, these broken meters lose income for Los Angeles County. As a County resident, I have an interest in knowing that revenues to the County are maximized by having broken meters repaired swiftly. That is definitely not happening at present.

I wrote to the County Department of Beaches and Harbors today, asking them to take immediate action on this. But I suspect that meter repair is being curtailed due to budget cutbacks. That is speculation, but I cannot imagine what else the problem could be. It’s not vacation season for County employees. The swine flu has only killed 10 people in the U.S., and most of them are not in California. And I don’t think it’s a deliberate County effort to cut down on public sex.

If the problem is budgetary, then the broken meters along the Channel are merely a tiny precursor of some very bad reductions in governmental services destined to whack all of us in the Los Angeles area. I sure would like to know how California’s finances got so fucked. Would anyone care to list what they think are the major contributing reasons? I would love it if people kept prejudged political ideology out of it, but I know that’s asking way too much. I’ll start off by listing one: the two-thirds supermajority requirement for California’s legislature to pass a budget. This requirement seems assured to lead to gridlock and the impossibility of making tough budgetary choices.

7 thoughts on “Broken Parking Meters Along Marina Channel: Sign of Budgetary Badness to Come?”

  1. I think a lot of people didn’t think about the actual daily-life toll these cutbacks will take. I’m not saying any of Tuesday’s propositions should have passed–they were all attempts at damage control, damage that’s already done–but I think the people who vehemently demand CA fix its budget crisis, don’t fully comprehend what that could mean for the services they rely upon every day.

    The budget should be fixed, of course, but you can’t have your cake & eat it too.

  2. They will really fine someone for parking at a broken meter? That seems *incredibly* petty! “Well if we can’t use it, *nobody* can use it”!

    Why not just turn them into 2-hour parking spots or something like that, if congestion is an issue? They can obviously spend money on putting up the “no parking at inoperable meters” signs…

    Maybe they should just make the fine $3, or something like that, if they’re concerned with replacing the revenue from the meter.


  3. In a big picture way, I would say unchecked capitalism is to blame. A friend of mine recently suggested that capitalism is in its death throws much like Soviet communism was two decades ago.

    Also, those threatening parking signs exhibit the government’s outright hostility and intent to deliver misery to the people that it’s supposed to serve. It’s shameful.

  4. The “something for nothing” mentality. And it’s been downhill ever since Prop 13.

  5. I thought I understood that if a meter was inoperable you were allowed to park there for the normal limit of the meter. If you exceeded that you could be ticketed. And if the meter “resets” itself and becomes operable while you’re there it would look like you were in violation, and really hard to prove that it was inoperable when you arrived. Anyway, I tried to look up the ordinance that’s cited on that sign in the posting, LACC 15.20.070, and it seems to be about obeying posted signs (No parking in red zone, etc.), not about inoperable meters. Unless I just don’t get the connection.

    “15.20.070 Obedience to traffic signs. Every operator and every pedestrian shall comply with and obey every instruction appearing on any traffic sign or other marking, which sign or marking has been erected or placed by authority of the board or commissioner or this Division 1. (Ord. 6544 Ch. 1 Art. 3 ยง 1319, 1954.)”

    Therefore, if there’s a sign that says “2 hour limit” you have to obey that. But the sign at the Marina implies that merely parking at the inoperable meter is illegal, by this particular ordinance.

    Anyone have more info on this?

  6. No idea about LACC 15.20.070, Jim, but I know you’re allowed to park at broken meters for the posted time limit in the city of Los Angeles. Marina del Rey is in unincorporated Los Angeles County, however, so my guess would be the county’s code regarding parking at broken meters is different.

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