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News

L.A. Might Start Texting You To Move Your Car For Street Sweeping

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(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
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L.A. is a city of rivalries: USC versus UCLA, developers versus housing rights activists, Philippe's versus Cole's, people who love the Valley versus people who hate the Valley, you name it. One thing this entire city can agree on, though, is the absurd inconvenience of street cleaning parking restrictions. A large number of residential streets in the city (in particularly dense neighborhoods like Koreatown and East Hollywood) have a two-to-three hour window where parking is illegal, and almost every resident of Los Angeles has been ticketed for getting to their car two minutes after the window starts, or for forgetting whether street cleaning comes on Wednesday or Thursday. The tickets, which usually cost $73, contribute between $4.5 million to $11.8 million to the city's budget, according to a report released by the Department of Transportation. They are also a massive nuisance and are very effective at ruining your day.

A proposed pilot program could change all that. Back in 2014, Mayor Eric Garcetti assembled a group of community stakeholders called the L.A. Parking Reform Group in order to address parking scarcity and difficulties in the city. They've recommended a new way of dealing with street cleaning, and it involves your cell phone.

Curbed reported on the program, which will start in Woodland Hills and West L.A. and may run from eight to 10 months during a trial period (provided City Council approves of the pilot program). The plan would provide a service in which residents receive a text announcing when the street sweeper will go through their neighborhood, as well as an alert when the cleaning has occurred. In other words, you'll be able to park on the street during the block of time reserved for street sweeping—you won't get a ticket as long as you check your text alerts and move your car before the street sweeper comes. Plus, you can re-park your car in the same spot after the sweeping is done.

If the program goes well and actually reduces the number of tickets (currently, street cleaning tickets are the most common tickets, with 629,454 issued in 2014), it could extend across the city. It would make all our lives easier, despite making it difficult to create performance art focusing on the anticipation of a parking ticket.