Parking has always been free at the mixed-use NoHo Commons development at 5300 Lankershim Blvd. that features , multiple food and drink options, a Wells Fargo bank, and the , but starting July 15 it will cost $1.50 for 15 minutes of parking at a $15-per-day maximum. Although it is not stated on the sign, I would assume validation will be offered at the Commons' businesses based on those otherwise high rates.
About two months ago, I parked in the lot in a 1-hour parking space with the intention of running a few quick errands and paying a visit to Kenzie Alexander and Shannon Currie-Holmes, the two women that run Cella Gallery. I have , and the visit ended up lasting more than an hour as we caught up and talked about some of the things happening around NoHo.
On my way back to my car I remembered that I had parked in the 1-hour space and thought I might have a ticket or something. As it turned out, I did not have a ticket — my car had been towed.
Two hours later I found myself standing at the counter of a dingy impound lot on Vermont Avenue, waiting to pay $232 to get my car back. Lo and behold, who walks up behind me to get in line but Radomir Luza, who for this site. He too had been towed from the lot for parking too long in the 1-hour spaces. Radomir is also a member of the Midtown NoHo Neighborhood Council, so like me, he should have known better. But alas, there we were.
The moment I saw Radomir I realized what a nice little sum of money this tow company and the Commons was making off people's stupidity. But how wise was this as a long-term business policy? It didn't exactly make me want to go back there. Did the punishment fit the crime? How many people had stopped in at Coffee Bean or Panera Bread, ran into an old friend, accidentally parked too long and suddenly found themselves on Vermont Avenue shelling out $232 to get their cars back? That's pretty close to what happened to me. My conversation with Kenzie and Shannon got very interesting and engrossing as we talked about some of the cool things they had been up to and I just plain forgot about the parking.
However, now that I see they are converting to a pay lot, I feel partially responsible. I assume with the new policy the 1-hour-parking will disappear, along with the need to tow. I guess it's happening in part because of thoughtless jerks like me who took advantage of something that was already free.