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Pay to Park: New Parking Meter Stickers Carry a Warning

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The days of parking at a failed meter and getting a free spot are about to get harder. Last week Los Angeles' Department of Transportation began marking the new card & coin meters with a red sticker warning drivers that you must pay to park, no other way about it.

If the coin slot is jammed, pay with a credit card. If the credit card swipe won't register, pay with coins. If both don't work, too bad, find another space.

"If you are unable to pay using either the credit/debit card function or cash, you need to move to another parking space," explained LADOT spokesperson Bruce Gillman. "We recommend people call the number on the meter, or simply 311, to report any problems."

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The new policy is partly to discourage intentional vandalism that some people have done in the past to park for free.

Gillman said the card & coin meters automatically notify the city that the it needs to be fixed. That, in theory, should mean finding a whole block full of failed meters -- an exasperation found throughout this past year -- should be a thing of the past.

Also: The city council's budget-boosting move to increase parking citation fines by $5 took effect on August 19th.