Instead of gazing at occasionally confusing signs to determine if they can park without fear of a ticket, Los Angeles motorists could one day be able to look up parking restrictions using smartphone apps under a program being considered by the Los Angeles City Council.
The council’s Transportation Committee recommended Wednesday that $1.1 million be set aside in the upcoming year’s budget for the first phase of creating a database of parking signs that could be used by app-makers or accessed by the public. The funding will be considered as part of the City Council’s upcoming budget hearings.
The city does not have a “comprehensive database” of which parking restrictions correspond with a particular street, Los Angeles Department of Transportation Parking Management engineer Ken Husting told the panel today.
The city would need to hire a contractor to go down each street to take pictures or record each sign’s contents, which could cost the city an estimated $4.4 million to $5.6 million and take one to two years to complete, Husting said.
The $1.1 million recommended for the program, dubbed “Code the Curb,” would be taken out of the Special Parking Revenue Fund, a pot of money generated through parking-related fines.
The committee also voted to earmark $218,000 from the Special Parking Revenue Fund to accelerate the expansion of a L.A. Express Park program from 2020 to 2017. The program, which adjusts the cost of parking based on demand and availability of spaces, is already in operation in downtown Los Angeles.
Transportation officials said Metro has awarded grant funding for demand- pricing programs in Hollywood, Venice and Exposition Park near USC. They are also seeking more funding for potential programs in the La Brea-Miracle Mile area, North Hollywood and Studio City.
The proposed parking programs are part of a series of motions authored by Councilman Mike Bonin with input from the Los Angeles Parking Reform Working Group set up by Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The working group was created after a group of residents threatened to begin a ballot initiative aimed at lowering the cost of parking fines in Los Angeles. The City Council later this year is expected to take up other issues raised by the residents, some of whom sit on the mayor’s working group, such as the city’s use of parking fine revenue for unrelated city services.
Garcetti expressed support today for Bonin’s “efforts to tackle these reforms” and said that he looks forward to the City Council “debating the issue.”
Many of the ideas raised by parking working group need to be considered as part of the City Council’s budget hearing process, which is expected to begin after Garcetti releases his budget proposal in April.
–City News Service
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