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Officials Want to Better Manage Parking in Van Nuys

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Photo by LA Wad via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

Photo by LA Wad via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
In downtown Van Nuys there's a parking problem. Luckily, there could be a fix and it doesn't mean building a parking structure. A L.A. city council transportation panel today met and briefly discussed two proposals that could help solve parking around the Van Nuys civic center. Although there metered spaces line the surrounding streets -- often crowded -- two city parking lots do not operate at maximum capacity. One has an average occupancy of 76% while another has a 28% occupancy.

"Clearly, these lots are underutilized, partially due to the surrounding inexpensive on-street parking and lack of adequate signage directing drivers to the lots," wrote Councilmember Tony Cardenas in his motion.

"This part of town... was originally designed before cars," added Daniel Slotnick, a planning deputy for Cardenas.

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It currently costs $1.10 per hour in the parking lots, but $1 per hour on the street. If the city were to apply higher priced parking spots, it would reduce congestion of people seeking cheap street spots directing them over to the lots. Slotnick said this was about managing already-existings assets better.

LADOT plans on installing new credit card enabled parking meters in the area within the next two months. Eventually, when even more technology is installed on streets, the city could begin charging based on demand -- the fewer the spaces available, the pricer they become.

Another proposal from Cardenas seeks to keep the parking lots open past regular city hall business hours. Instead, he wants to see them open until 2 a.m., so business patrons get to take advantage of them fully.

The two proposals were continued for 60 days to afford city staff time to study the them.