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Should Los Angeles cap parking fines?

by AirTalk

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A row of parking meters line O'Farrell Street on July 3, 2013 in San Francisco, California. One group in Los Angeles is lobbying for a parking ticket cap of $23. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative is beginning a ballot effort to cap the price of a parking ticket at $23.

The group is working with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office to make changes to parking enforcement, particularly when it comes to projected revenue from parking fines. If administrative negotiations don’t work out, the group plans to put a measure on the March 5, 2015 ballot which would significantly lower parking fines -- the current lowest ticket is $58, and the fines go up from there.

Steven Vincent, founder of the Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative, argues that the price is way too high, especially for minimum wage workers who might put almost a whole day’s paycheck into paying off a ticket.

The group also takes issue with the estimations about parking fine revenue, saying that it should be placed in a special fund instead of factored into the general budget. Mayor Garcetti’s office is working with the Parking Freedom Initiative, and seems focused on alternatives that might help people avoid tickets altogether.
What would capping parking fines do for Angelenos? Would this proposed measure have a detrimental impact on L.A.’s budget? What’s a fair price to pay for a parking citation? Is it better to lower the price of the ticket, or install technology intended to help people avoid a fine?


Jay Beeber, co-head of the Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative, executive director of Safer Streets LA

Donald Shoup, Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning, UCLA, and author of “The High Cost of Free Parking, Updated Edition” (APA Planners Press, 2011)



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