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L.A. Parking-Ticket Reform Group to Meet with Mayor

The group plans to work with the mayor's staff first before pushing for a municipal ballot measure.

Photo credit: Eric O'Connell/Getty Images
Photo credit: Eric O'Connell/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative, a group looking to change how the city issues parking tickets, said it will meet with members of Mayor Eric Garcetti's staff Thursday before beginning a ballot effort to cap parking fines at $23 and institute other changes.

The group's founder Steven Vincent said it is getting ready to submit an application to put a measure on the March 5, 2015, ballot. Their deadline for doing so is by the end of the month, Vincent said.

The group said in a release that it plans to work with the Garcetti's staff to "appropriately change parking enforcement abuses" through administrative means and to urge the City Council to "voluntarily adopt our reform plan."

If the city does not adopt their ideas, they will "craft a municipal ballot measure, collect the required signatures and place it on the ballot for a vote by the citizens," the release said.

Vincent told City News Service the city's high parking fines and citation practices are "abusive."

"The lowest ticket on the books right now is $58, and that's pretty high when you consider, if you're working eight hours and you're making the minimum wage, your take home pay is probably around $64," Vincent said.

"For someone working at minimum wage or low wage, an entire day's pay to pay for a parking ticket is not a reasonable standard."

Vincent also said parking enforcement officers operate under a "de facto quota" because the city each year estimates the amount of revenue it would receive from parking fines.

The fine revenue collected by the city should be placed in a special fund, instead of being viewed as expected income that could then be used toward the general operating costs of running the city, he said.

— City News Service

Henderson Cooper June 12, 2014 at 02:35 PM
The basic ideas put forth in this initiate are good and I support them. I believe that clarity in city economics are what is needed. Identifying revenue and how it is used is the right goal. What is not stated in the complaint but is important to me is not identified here. That is that when the flow of traffic is getting more and more congested, it is annoying to see Traffic officers writing tickets, while intersections are blocked. In law enforcement if an officer sees a crime being committed they are duty bound to act. City Traffic Officers will spend their time writing tickets as cars clog the intersections and streets. This is the wrong priority. If a traffic officer sees that traffic is impaired they should immediately be self tasked to traffic support and forgo writing that next parking violator. Congested traffic affects workers getting to work, getting work done and getting to or caring for their families. Parking violators are an inconvenience at best. Clear those intersections. And not just after a complaint or during presumed "rush hours." There are no rush hours in the City of Los Angeles...congestion is constant from sun up to beyond sun down. Find other ways to solve the cities poor budget management. TRAFFIC OFFICER SHOULD MOVE TRAFFIC!
Sherry Barnett June 12, 2014 at 09:28 PM
Absolutely. It's about time. These parking violations are exorbitant. Totally out of hand. Parking officers are often waiting to pounce just to fill quotas. Has little to do with keeping the city streets safe and the cost of the tickets is gouging us ... The tax paying citizens. We're paying for all their hi tech wireless, invisible devices that are designed to simply rip us off as we try to get around town.

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