By Sandy Wells
The City of LA has been under fire from consumer advocates for its onerous parking fines. Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin says the fines are needed to keep fire lanes open and keep parking spaces circulating so people can visit their favorite businesses. Some have complained that the City should not be making a “profit” off of hapless motorists stung with these high-priced parking tickets. But, while Galperin admits there’s money left over after the city covers the $100 million expense of running the Parking Enforcement operation, that cash is needed elsewhere.
“So what you’re left with is 41 million dollars and that has been going to fund vital city services. It goes to the general fund for police, fire, for other things like that.”
Galperin has proposed some improvements.
“What I pointed out is that we should use a good portion of the money that comes in to actually help people prevent the opportunity to get a ticket. It’s one thing to say we’ll give you ten dollars off, it’s another thing to say we’re going to help you not get that ticket, which is a lot better. And that means electronic signs – so that when you look at that sign instead of being totally confused – you know, ‘Yes, I can park’ or, ‘No, I can’t park.’ It also means apps so that you can add money to your parking, instead of running out from the store and realizing you’re one minute late and you just got dinged.”
Galperin says he is also looking for ways to reduce the penalties for people who are late paying their tickets.