Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's 2012 Budget and Parking Fines
Parking in Los Angeles has always been a huge conundrum. With a population of 3.7926 million, and an unabashed car culture, it's no wonder it's often near impossible to find a space.
Although schooled in the belief of 'parking karma,' and accustomed to this way of life, Angelenos got a jolt in May of 2012 when the City Council okay'd Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's proposed $7.2-billion budget and its concomitant changes in parking fees.
Inherent in that budget was a plan to generate an additional $10 million in revenue by raising parking ticket fees by $5 across the board (and by $10 for those illegally parked in disabled spaces).
The Downtown LA Express Park Plan
As part of the mayor's laundry list of changes, he introduced a dramatic new demand-based parking structure--employing state-of-the-art monitoring equipment--to the Downtown LA area--a zone that sees 10 million visitors each year. Villaraigosa has called it "the future of parking" as it uses "advanced technology."
Ground sensors were placed on 6,000 meter spots and 7,500 city-owned parking spots (the same technology already used in Santa Monica). These sensors make up the basis for the new system, which electronically enables drivers to find available parking spaces. It was instated thanks to $3.5 million in city funds. Its start date: June 4, 2012. Its duration: one year.
The government claims that this system will cut down the number of drivers searching for spaces and thus reduce traffic and pollution, making it 'fast, easy and smart.'
How Downtown's LA Express Park Works
The Premise: Parking prices are lower when demand is low and higher when demand is higher
Parameters of Enforcement:
- Beaudry in the West
- Adams Blvd. in the South
- College St. in Chinatown in the North
- Alameda in the East
Step 1: Check for available parking spaces via
- A/ Variable message signs (which direct drivers to available spots)
- B/ On LA Express Park's website
- C/ Mobile app
Step 2: Pay for parking
Parking costs will vary, depending on the time of day (and demand for parking), from $1 an hour to $6 an hour (the latter represents a 50 percent increase)
Three ways to pay for parking:
- Place coins in the meter
- Place a debit or credit card in the meter
- Pay by phone
In addition, when you go through the parking app, the system will text you to notify you when your time is running out and give you the option to add more time.