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Parking Between L.A. Sidewalks And Curbs Is A Thing, But Possibly Not For Long

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
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If you live in Los Angeles, you've probably passed by a car parked brazenly in the narrow space between the sidewalk and the curb, envied the driver's confidence, then thought to yourself, "I bet they're going to get a ticket." For the past five years, you would have been wrong; this practice, known as "verge", "curb strip", "apron", or "parkway" parking, has largely been ignored by L.A. parking officials. Now, the city's transportation committee is pushing to crack down on verge parking with a new law that would make it illegal to stop, stand or park on the land between sidewalks and curbs.

The new parking law comes before City Council next week, and if it passes, the Transportation Department will begin ticketing verge parkers in mid-August, the LA Times reports; enforcement of ticketing for apron parkers was quietly suspended in 2011, but some locals in Koreatown, East Hollywood and Westlake—three parking-scarce neighborhoods in which verge parking is common—claim parking destroys grass and curbs in front of their homes. Recently, frustrated residents have taken matters into their own hands by installing landscaping and bollards in between sidewalks and curbs, Curbed reports.

"The effort to keep cars off of parkways is addressing a safety issue," a spokesperson for City Councilmember and Transportation Committee chair Mike Bonin's office told LAist, adding, "It isn't safe for cars to pull up onto areas that weren't designed for vehicles, next to sidewalks where people are walking, and it isn't safe when they drive off of curbs, into traffic that isn't expecting cars to come out of nowhere." If the City Council approves the ordinance and Mayor Eric Garcetti signs it into law, there will be a 30-day grace period in which Parking Enforcement officials will reach out to the community about the change in policy and put warnings on cars parked on the parkway, Bonin's office explained.