Map: The Unfortunate Neighborhoods That Get The Most Street-Sweeping Parking Tickets
There's a huge disparity in the number of street-sweeping citations issued in different L.A. neighborhoods, according to a new map put out today. While some densely-populated—and often lower-income—areas are racking up the most $73 street-sweeping citations, other neighborhoods aren't getting cited at all.
The L.A. Times analyzed all the street-sweeping citations issued in 2012, and found that 662,000 tickets were handed out, and that the top 10 most-ticketed neighborhoods make up a third of all the street-sweeping tickets handed out in Los Angeles. Angelenos shell out over $50 million a year in these citations.
Back in 2012 when the city was considering a hike in parking citation fees, Larry Gross, executive director of advocate group, Coalition for Economic Survival, told the L.A. Times that he felt these tickets "disproportionately affect working-class families in Koreatown, Westlake and other neighborhoods packed with apartment buildings and too few parking space."
"The burden is felt hardest by those who can least afford to pay," Gross said.
In the Times' analysis, Hollywood snagged first place in getting the most of these tickets. Not falling too far behind are areas like Koreatown, Venice, East Hollywood, Westlake, Westwood, Sawtelle, Van Nuys, North Hollywood, Sherman Oaks. (You can see the entire map graphic here.)
However, as the map indicates, compared to neighborhoods like Hollywood, which had 30,266 tickets issued, areas like Glassell Park had 663 and downtown had 2,211 tickets. And street-cleaning crews only provide their service to less than half of the city, leaving large suburban areas like in the San Fernando Valley without street cleaning—and no street-sweeping parking citations.
Public works officials tell the Times that those crowded neighborhoods are the ones that need the street-sweeping services the most.
Mayor Eric Garcetti has concentrated on providing some reform on street-sweeping citations. Last November, Garcetti launched a parking enforcement website that would list areas where there would be "relaxed parking zones"—areas where street cleaning has been cancelled and parking tickets aren't supposed to be handed out. However, CBS Los Angeles did an investigation a year later and found that some parking officers were still handing bogus parking tickets out to drivers who had their cars in these relaxed parking zones. Garcetti, who said he was "pissed" when we found out, vowed that the city would refund these wrongly-issued citations.
Kevin James, president of the Board of Public Works, told the Times about a possible solution that would cost around $250,000: they could attach GPS systems onto street-sweeping vehicles that would send info in real time to parking officers so they would know which cars not to ticket in cases where the streets have already been swept or they're not sweeping the street that day.