The Los Angeles City Council approved a plan Tuesday to convert all of the city’s parking meters to prevent motorists from paying for more time than remains in the meter operating hours.
“Parking in Los Angeles is hard enough without being overcharged at the meter,” Councilman Bob Blumenfield said. “This change will have a modest impact on the city’s overall parking revenue, and it is a small price to pay for becoming more business-, customer- and visitor-friendly. We will no longer nickel-and-dime our customers and instead encourage them to spend their time and money locally.”
In April of last year, Blumenfield introduced a motion which pointed out that the city’s meters were accepting full payment for multiple hours by default, even if the operating hours were about to expire. The council’s 14-0 vote approved of a conversion plan already underway by the Department of Transportation to address the issue.
“While drivers can manually reduce the amount of meter time they purchase, they must know about the city’s default policy and be able to read the meters, which can be difficult after sunset,” the motion says.
The motion also states that the policy “is not customer-friendly, and does not support local businesses whose customers rely on street parking during evening hours. Some neighboring jurisdictions, including Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, have a different meter policy. Their meters will not charge for more time than remains in the meter operating hours.”
In response to the motion, the Department of Transportation drafted a report that said it was already in the process of changing the city’s meters when the motion was introduced and accelerated the efforts in response. The changes do not allow the default time to include time outside of the hours of operation or for the meters to accept a credit card payment outside of the hours of operation. The changes also do not give time for coins inserted outside of the hours of operation and let the customer know that they can park for free up to a certain time.
A total of 94 percent of all meters have been updated to reflect the new policy, and the remaining conversions are projected to be completed by the end of April, according to the report.
The changes could result in a loss of $900,000 per year in parking revenue for the city, according to the report.
–City News Service
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