City Public Parking Lot 662 – located in Echo Park south of Sunset Boulevard – contains about 72 metered parking spaces. But late last week Echo Park restaurant owner Rhonda Reynolds walked through the lot used by many of her customers and found that 16 of the meters – or about 25% – were broken or flashing the FAIL warning. If this sounds familiar it is because it was only a few weeks ago when Reynolds had complained about broken meters in the same lot and on nearby streets. An engineer with the Department of Transportation’s Meter Division told Reynolds that his department would look into the broken meter problem, which was caused in part by vandalism but also because the meters were filling up with coins faster than the city could empty them.
Perhaps those meters were filling up so quickly to because the city had raised rates earlier this year to generate more revenue? Regardless of the reason, the city was losing revenue last week on those 16 broken meters in Lot 662. Nearby businesses might have also lost some customers who feared getting a ticket by parking in a space with a failed meter.
Reynolds once again asked a Meter Division engineer last week about installing an automated Park and Pay Station in the lot, which would eliminate the need to repair all those individual meters that keep failing. The engineer’s reply via email: “It may not be feasible at this time, but who knows what can happen in the future.”
Of course, if those 16 meters in parking Lot 662 were working perhaps the city would have more cash to pay for that pay station.