Monday, July 25, 2011

Parking Meters

Last week at some point the parking meters out front got upgraded to the new version that accepts credit cards in addition to coins. We have been eagerly awaiting this change, hoping it would solve the 20-year-old problem of our local parking meters being broken more often than not.

Unfortunately, it seems we STILL have a problem, Houston.

For those who don't know - for the past TWENTY YEARS the meters out front have frequently taken money and yet provided no time. They have been broken. People have complained endlessly; unseen elves come and "fix" them; they function properly for a brief time, and then malfunction again. This has been an issue for as long as we have been here, which as I mentioned was TWENTY YEARS. No one from the city has made any attempt to replace the obviously broken meters. They prefer to ticket the hapless victims.

And therein lies the real problem. In Los Angeles it is illegal to park at a broken meter. You WILL be ticketed. It matters not how much money you put into said meter that you got no value for. It matters not that every meter for half a block is broken. You can't park there, and you will be ticketed if you do.

I swear it's some sort of a racket: the city makes far more money with all the ticketing than it ever would by fixing the meters permanently and then just collecting the parking fees.

I think our only hope for a permanent fix is to raise some hell as a community, so here is what I propose: everybody who has ever been ripped off by the meters at our curb needs to call the city at 311 and complain bitterly and at great length about how Woodland Hills Parking Meters #25, 25A, 26, 26A, and 27 are defective and perpetually breaking down. If enough people make a stink about it, something might just get done. Also, please feel free to call Councilman Zine's office at (818) 756-8848 and complain about how the meters, for TWENTY YEARS, have only had band-aid fixes and keep breaking.

In the meantime, good luck using the new meters. Someone has already complained to me that one wouldn't take their card. Please don't complain to me. The meters are not the responsibility of business owners. We have zero control over them. The CITY is responsible.

And of course you can always park behind our clinic, or next door in the lot at Papa John's (the building's owner has personally told me that he doesn't care if my clients park there, and nobody is using the lot until almost noon most days anyway). If you do park next door, please be considerate of that building's customers and do not take the prime spots near the street, but instead park toward the alley.