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L.A. might allow residents to park in front of their driveways

December 8, 2010 |  7:54 am

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0133f1ff23b8970b-800wi

It’s a situation that many Angelenos have faced: You’re trying to park. It’s your own residential street. Home turf. But there are too many cars, so you end up half-blocking your own driveway. Then you get a ticket.

Reacting to constituents annoyed with that scenario, Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl will bring a motion before the Transportation Committee meeting Tuesday to investigate the viability of allowing residents to park in front of their own driveways.

“Our beach communities especially are so congested year-round,” said Rosendahl, whose district includes the coastal areas of Playa del Rey, Venice and Mar Vista. “But this motion will bring study to a way to increase the residential parking supply.”

The current California Vehicle Code does not allow parking on the street in front of driveways, but does provide an exemption that allows “a local authority” to offer this option through the implementation of a permit process.

Bruce Gillman, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, said that the specifics of such a parking program were unclear since it was so early, but it could resemble the process that exists now for acquiring an overnight or preferential parking permit, including the fee. An annual preferential permit costs $34 and an annual overnight parking permit costs $15.

Currently, a ticket for blocking a driveway will cost the driver $63, according to the Los Angeles Parking Violations Bureau.   

The motion will require the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to research and present a report on the costs, benefits and overall viability of such a plan before a public hearing one to three months from now, Rosendahl said. The goal is to get a pilot program up and running by April 1 in Mar Vista “in time for the beginning of summer,” he said.

Rosendahl said that one of his constituents, Julie Inouye of Mar Visa, originally came to him with the idea of on-street parking in front of driveways after enduring a “terrible parking problem in her neighborhood.”

“The pilot program should be in Mar Vista. It’s a smaller community than Venice, and the local leadership – like Inouye – really want it,” he said. 

If successful, the pilot program could be extended to other communities in Los Angeles, he said.

But Gillman said that not all areas of Los Angeles need such a parking program.

“There are so many innocuous ways to say this works for everyone. It doesn’t,” he said. “There are valid safety concerns. And at this point, you don’t want to introduce a program that could drain money.”

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--Shan Li

Photo credit: Los Angeles Times

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