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Parking meters on the chopping block in San Pedro

July 26, 2012 |  1:11 pm

Parking meters will be going away from some Los Angeles streets near the port. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Two neighborhoods near the Port of Los Angeles could soon get a small dose of parking relief under a plan heading to the City Council.

Looking to spur more shopping and dining in business districts near the harbor, the City Council's Transportation Committee voted Wednesday to remove 540 parking meters from streets in San Pedro. Another 105 would disappear from Wilmington under the plan.

Councilman Joe Buscaino, a longtime backer of the meter reduction initiative, said the changes would generate enough new economic activity for the city to cover any loss in parking revenue.

The committee gave its endorsement to Buscaino's plan one day after the council voted to install 247 new meters in Palms, just north of Culver City, and 190 meters in Westchester near Los Angeles International Airport.

Parking fines have been repeatedly hiked by city leaders -- six times in seven years -- in an attempt to address a continuing budget shortfall. The council voted this month to hike the fine for parking at an expired meter to $63, up 80% from 2005, the year Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took office.

In San Pedro and Wilmington, an additional 152 meters will be replaced with ones that accept credit cards, said Buscaino spokesman Dennis Gleason.

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-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall

Photo: Parking meters will be disappearing from some Los Angeles streets near the port. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

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