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LA street sweeper tickets could become thing of the past

Los Angeles is considering a pilot program to reduce the number of parking tickets issued on street sweeper days. An app would alert residents when a sweeper is in their neighborhood and when it's gone.
Los Angeles is considering a pilot program to reduce the number of parking tickets issued on street sweeper days. An app would alert residents when a sweeper is in their neighborhood and when it's gone.
Flickr via Antonio Villaraigosa

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If you’ve lived in a Los Angeles neighborhood with street-sweeping parking restrictions, chances are you’ve gotten a ticket for not moving your car.

Now the city of L.A. is looking to pilot a program to cut down on the number of parking tickets given on street sweeping days — and it turns out, there's an app for that.

The proposed program making its way through City Council aims to lessen the pain by alerting residents’ phones when the street sweeper is coming and when it’s safe to park again after it’s gone.

The idea is one of a slew of parking reforms the city is considering to improve the fairness of the system while encouraging drivers to follow the rules. They were proposed by a citizen group formed by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2014 to tackle thorny parking issues.

The city has already equipped all 100 street sweepers with GPS. If approved, the tracking notification program would roll out as a pilot in Woodland Hills and West L.A. first, utilizing the city's MyLA311 app to alert users.

The budget for the pilot is about $570,000 and it would likely cost the city up to $200,000 in lost parking ticket revenues.

While the budget would take a hit, the city has been trying to move away from dependence on traffic tickets for revenues, in part because they can be a heavy burden on those with low incomes and are one of the most commonly cited gripes of citizens about their local government.

The proposal has been approved by the City Council Transportation Committee and the Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee. It is expected to go before the full council for a vote next month.