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The A&E Report: The Wonderful, Unrepentant Hook

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One of the best traffic flow ideas LA ever had were those rush hour parking restrictions that keep cars from stopping on major streets during peak hours. All around the city, on streets like Ventura, Wilshire, Pico and Los Feliz Boulevard, the rightmost lane of traffic turns from a parking lane to a driving lane from 7 to 9 am and 4 to 7 pm. These restrictions help keep traffic moving at times when it's at its most headache-inducing. The problem is, they only work if they're enforced. And too often, they're not. That's because there are plenty of arrogant and entitled jerks out there who ignore the signs, and the LAPD usually turns a blind eye or lets the jerks off with a ticket and just allows the rest of us suffer.

Well, there's good news for the rest of us. Starting this week, the LAPD is cracking down on people who think they're above the parking laws. Officers will be stationed with tow trucks at the ready at some of the problem areas, and they're instituting a zero-tolerance policy on offenders. It doesn't matter if you just ran in to pick up your dry cleaning or your latte or whether you claim you didn't see the sign or how much you cry and beg. If you break the rush hour parking restrictions, you're gonna get towed. So if you think it's okay to stall an entire lane of traffic for five minutes while you run that coverage up to the production office, think twice. You may be looking at a trip to the impound yard, a hefty fine and a big chunk of time taken out of your day. Or, karmically speaking, the headache you'll endure is roughly equal to the cumulative headache you caused the rest of us.

Sure, a couple of innocent people are likely to get snared in this web. Some people really do forget to check the signs. But for most of us trying to get home at the end of the day, intentions are of little consolation. A car is just as obstructive if its owner honestly forgot to check the posted signs as if he or she is an arrogant and entitled jerk who just doesn't care about the other drivers on the road. And for those kind-hearted but oblivious people who unintentionally break the laws, odds are that if they get towed, it's a mistake they'll only make once.

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So please, if you get busted on your parking arrogance, don't go with dignity. Beg and plead and wail for the officer as your car gets hooked up and carted off. Blubber your excuses incoherently. Curse and shout and flail. Shed every ounce of your dignity as you grovel in vain. You won't earn a reprieve, but the rest of us will really enjoy watching it.