You're More Likely To Get A Parking Ticket In These LA Neighborhoods

A parking meter displays the word "expired" (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Parking in Los Angeles is plenty nightmare-ish. Then you get back to your car, only to find that gruesome little slip on your windshield — a paper trail pointing to the fact that today is not your day.

But where are the riskiest places to park in the city? We posed that question to you, our readers, and you were happy to share your thoughts.

Sidenote: A LOT of you put West Hollywood on blast, but West Hollywood is its own city, so it is not accounted for in L.A. city data. Our deepest sympathies for the pain and citations that city's curbs have brought you.

When it comes to L.A., turns out there actually are parking ticket hotspots. Our friends at Crosstown, a data reporting project from USC's Annenberg School for Journalism, combed through several years' worth of data, keying in on the first seven months of 2019 to see the current state of citations.

THE RISKIEST NEIGHBORHOODS IN WHICH TO PARK

Data from the L.A. Department of Transportation and City Controller's office showed that, with 105,405 tickets written, downtown L.A. has the most citations so far this year. That's followed by nearly 55,700 in Hollywood and 35,920 in Westlake.

But, as Crosstown's Ethan Ward and Coco Huang reported, those numbers were down 7%, 24% and 19% respectively, compared to the first seven months of 2018.

(Courtesy Crosstown)

Also earning spots in the top ten were Venice, Koreatown, Boyle Heights and Van Nuys (though the number of tickets written in each also saw double-digit drop rates).

Kudos to everyone who got it right — and sorry if you learned these answers the hard way.

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON VIOLATIONS?

Crosstown analyzed nine years of citation data to determine what most parking tickets were written for. Parking during street-cleaning times was the No. 1 reason, followed by being caught at an expired meter.

"Parking in handicapped spots without a handicap decal, parking in front of a fire hydrant and improperly displayed registration stickers rounded out the top five," Ward and Huang said.

(Courtesy Crosstown)

LA IS WRITING FEWER TICKETS SO FAR THIS YEAR

Believe it or not, the city has been citing fewer drivers for parking violations in 2019, Crosstown found.

In the first seven months of the year, compared with the same time last year, citations were down roughly 13%, according to LAPD data.

So, why is this happening and who can you thank? Retirees, mainly.

Basically, the city's ticket writers are hanging up their pens and pads — and not being replaced at the same rate they're leaving, according to LADOT. Fewer parking monitors means fewer tickets.

"In the last year, our parking enforcement and traffic division has struggled with an almost 20% vacancy rate driven largely by an aging workforce," Connie Llanos, a department spokeswoman, told Crosstown.

Llanos also said enforcement officers have been stretched thin lately, working triple the number of special city events in the first seven months of 2019 and responding to more than 100,000 requests to remove abandoned vehicles.

(Courtesy Crosstown)

No one in their right mind will lose sleep over the fact that L.A. is writing fewer parking tickets, but it does impact the city's budget.

Money from parking fines was projected to bring in about $142 million of the city's $9.89 billion 2018-19 budget. Most of the money generated through parking tickets, about 75%, is used to pay parking enforcement officers' salaries, maintain their vehicles and other administrative costs, City Controller Ron Galperin told Crosstown. Shrinking citation revenue could also lead to less funding for city services, including street improvements and public safety, he added.

The city has been lowering its projections for parking citation revenue in recent years. Back in 2015, the city had projected $165 million in parking fines, but missed that mark by about $12.7 million, Crosstown found.

"The controller's office subsequently lowered its expectations over the next two years as actual revenues kept missing the estimates," according to Huang and Ward. The city exceeded expectations in the 2016-17 fiscal year, but in 2017-18, after lowering the project to $140 million, the city still came up short.

"While this isn't a major concern right now, because L.A.'s finances are relatively solid, things could get more challenging if this downward trend continues," Galperin said.

(Courtesy Crosstown)

UPDATES:

11:55 a.m.: This article was updated with information from LADOT regarding the reasons why fewer tickets are being written this year.

This article was originally published at 6 a.m.