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UCLA Students Can't Handle Big City Living
In the latest news of people being dumb at UCLA come the students. Yes, the students who decided to live in an ultra dense area of the city with a car and knowingly rent an apartment without a parking space or buy a space on the sidewalk. But they're not fully at fault here:
Ah, yes. Our favorite type of people. The people who are allowed to run the place we live in without much knowledge of the law or oversight from any government agency. We're all for not having government oversight into every little thing, but landlords might be something to add to the list. If the County Health Department combs through our restaurants inch by inch, don't you think something needs to happen with rental units? At the very least, make landlords licensed. Too bad when we call the city's Housing Department we get answers like "We're not your filing cabinet for complaints sir" and telling us a lawsuit is the only way. We're loaded, that's why we rent. Yups.
One thing the city is not good with is marketing and public relations. It's a mess! And while the Office of the Mayor has a solid team, other departments or the city as a whole do not. There are many many many laws that are not enforced for a long time until the issue is brought up (in this case, '88 presidential candidate Dukakis rebirthed the parking issue). Some of these other laws include taking your dog off the leash in a city park not designated as a dog park and playing catch or basketball on a street. The only compliance with these laws are voluntary compliance. Parking your car and blocking the sidewalk is one of these, until now, kinda.
Sidewalk parking is illegal by state law and for a pretty decent reason: the disabled. Among wheelchairs, we say it's pretty annoying for those us who legally sidewalk bike ride too. The city's non-enforcement of this type of parking has created a culture of habit and the resistance is expected. But for Dukakis, if the city does not respond, he can get the State to step in. "If the city does not respond to our constituents, we're here to help," said an official for the 42nd District for the California Assembly to LAist. Funny as it is, the official who said that to us a few months ago now works for the city's Council District 5 where UCLA is located.
We have to go back to the issue of walking into a situation where you are going to be investing thousands of dollars a year into a living situation without doing a little research. Do you not ask questions to yourself? "What is the parking like here? It awfully seems weird to able to park on a sidewalk. Should I buy a bike? What is the public transportation around here like?"
It's one thing to just bitch, it's another to walk into a situation and help solve a problem for and with the community. To that, we give kudos to Alex Fay, "a fourth-year history student who has been working with the city on the parking situation" (Daily Bruin). However, while efforts may have delayed the ticketing of cars, he's not going to win the right of parking on the sidewalk. And thank god for that.
Welcome to life in the big city, especially along the most congested artery in the nation -- Wilshire Blvd.
Driveway Parking at SFist