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Monday, December 22, 2014

Silver Lake drivers discover that part of their driveways are no-parking zones

It’s illegal to leave your car parked in the driveway apron – that sloping part of the driveway between the sidewalk and the street.  But over the years in parking-poor neighborhoods like Silver Lake,  parking enforcement officers would only issue citations if a sidewalk was partially blocked or if someone called to complain. Many Silver Lake vehicle owners, however, have recently learned that the city policy has changed as they find tickets on their windshields.  The office of Councilman Eric Garcetti has gotten a few calls about drivers complaining about being cited for parking in the driveway apron.  “They had issued warnings,” said council district spokeswoman Julie Wong of parking enforcement officers. “Now they have moved to just ticketing.”

Meanwhile, Rusty Millar of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council said he has been swamped by complaints. “It has a very negative impact on all the city as there is not enough street parking for those that don’t have an on-site spot.”

But what can the city or neighborhood council do about those driveway-apron tickets? Not much it turns out.

The change in policy was first felt in Westwood, where UCLA students began to get slapped with $58 tickets for driveway parking violations, according to the Daily Bruin.  The city’s Department of Transportation said it has no choice but to issue tickets after the city was sued over violations of the American With Disabilities Act. ADA advocates claim apron parking blocks sidewalks and limits access to the disabled, according to CityWatch.  There are no exceptions, said Bruce Gillman, a spokesman for the city’s transportation department.  “Apron parking and the blocking of any driveway is illegal in the City of Los Angeles,” he said.

However, it’s clear that the law is still not be universally enforced since many drivers continue to park in driveways without citations.  The City Council last  month instructed the transportation department and City Attorney to look into ways to either propose state legislation to correct apron parking problems or establish programs that allow apron parking but don’t violate ADA laws.

But parking is expected to get even tighter as off-street parking requirements are waived or weakened for some new residential projects, said Millar with the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council.  “The planning department  is doing its best …  to reduce the onsite parking requirements because as you know everyone is going to ride the bus system, which is always being cut back.”



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51 comments

  1. that’s my red scion! in my driveway! i’m famous!

  2. Is Planning joking? All projects without off-street parking should not be approved, period. Further continuation of crises averted.

  3. Isn’t there a garage right behind that Scion?

  4. In fact, there are garages right behind all of the cars pictured…..

  5. I walked out my front door to find a ticket for this very thing this morning. Come back inside, check this blog only to find out that I am not alone. Two questions: 1. Will my rent be reduced as I evidentally no longer have access to my appointed parking spot; and 2. Where is ANYBODY going to park now? Street parking as already impossible!

  6. And those garages are all full o’ crap.

  7. Who will defend the helpless cars!? This is an injustice.

    If you don’t want a ticket and don’t have your own parking space, give up your car. Or move to the suburbs if you love your car so much. This is a city.

  8. Glad they’re ticketing these people… the sidewalks in Silver Lake are narrow and cracked enough as is. And please ditch the parking requirements, we’ve been subsidizing driving in this city for years and it’s only created problems.

  9. With the unparalleled ease and access offered by the public transportation system of the city of Los Angeles, I can’t imagine anyone who would not that that advice.

  10. It is not possible for all folks to be on public transportation, cars are a necessity. We are not NYC or Chicago. That being said, clean out those garages!

  11. 1 car garage for 2 bed apt = 1 car on the street. Not everybody’s garages are just filled with stuff. But think about it – why make living in this city more difficult and expensive than it already it? If we had a decent public transportation system a lot of people would give up their cars, but it hasn’t been a priority. According to this, you can’t even park in front of your own driveway! As long as the sidewalk is clear, it isn’t causing a problem. I wonder if the lawsuit was legitimate or some nuisance suit by a lawyers who specialize in ADA lawsuits. FYI – I’m part of a 1 car couple, and we use bikes and public transportation regularly.

  12. @eastsidearts: yes, that is my garage. i pay my landlord extra rent for it every month. i do not block the sidewalk; i do not stick out past “normally” parked cars. i keep my motorcycle in that garage and can open the garage door without having to move my car. my car blocks no one and nothing.

    i guess the city needs more money…

  13. I live in a 8 unit courtyard, 6 1-beds and 2 2-beds, 10-bedrooms total. We have 6 1 car garages.

    Back when Silver lake was a growing community, there was a lot more light rail/streetcars, ala the ‘Red Car’ system, Pacific Electric Railway, etc.

    The Metro 175 bus line is the closest transit to my place. It used to run more often and for longer hrs back in the day, no it seems it only runs during school days/hrs (it runs right by Marshall).

  14. Matthew: Without a car, how will I get back and forth to your mom’s then? Hey-yooooo

  15. Regardless of whether anyone likes it or not, it’s always been illegal to park your car on the apron. The city’s just always been lax about enforcing it, although I got a ticket for it 15 years ago at my old apartment building on Parkman and stopped. Everyone may start complaining, but it will fall on deaf ears. They aren’t going to change the law. So either move your car or be prepared to start paying the piper.

  16. What if my street has no sidewalks?
    Does this mean that you can not park on the street in front of your own garage?

  17. Like many have mentioned these house, apartments and duplex were not made for todays families with 2 cars ( or roommates) The cars on Silverlake Blvd do not block any part of the side walk nor do they go into the bike lane. The absurdity of it is the other side of the street is permit only for which we are denied while many of those house have garages or parking in the back and a permit for street parking. This side of the street is almost entirely driveways with very few parking spaces. If they are going to continue to enforce this law that has been ignored for years then they need to also allow us to get permits to park in our own neighborhood. This will only hurt property owners that have to rent apts without any parking and businesses that lose street parking to the neighbors taking up all available parking. It is a lose lose situation all around, of except for the city that cares only about collecting the fees.
    Go on all you want about the fantasy of using ONLY public transportation it just is not a reality that the majority can do

  18. Lame-o …. My car doesn’t even fit in my single car garage. Garages built in 1913 obviously had the nerve to not consider 2011 car sizes. Anyway. It’s all about the city needing new revenue sources so lets not pretend for a second that it’s about anything other then this city being broke. And I am wondering how exactly Julie Wong of the parking enforcement bureau notified the fine citizens of Los Angeles? I didn’t hear a word, did you?

  19. ITT: entitled yuppies.

  20. I will be happy to lease part of my spacious driveway.

  21. @jmr: They should definitely expand permit zoning throughout the neighborhood… my guess is a lot of spots that would normally be used by residents on Silver Lake Blvd. are instead being taken by joggers, people going to the dog park and in the evening by Spaceland.

  22. Um, let’s be real…How many handicapped people are living in the areas of Silver Lake where apron parking is common?

    No offense to the handicapped, and I do understand why in certain areas this might be an issue — but the parts of Silver Lake where landlords offer apron parking are usually on streets that was EXTREMELY hilly, where houses are built up onto the sides of hills (requiring stairs to access them) and the sidewalks haven’t been paved in 30+ years it seems. I don’t see why the city thinks apron parking is detrimental to the handicapped when uneven and crappy sidewalks aren’t?

    I don’t know the last time I saw someone try to zoom up a steep Silver Lake hill in a motorized wheelchair…

  23. We love parking tickets!

    We all know the real motive behind the tickets. Maybe the city will use the revenue collected from all the tickets to build a dedicated space and access point in the center of every single block and make sure that every single corner has an access point as well. But I am sure thats not what the money is for.

    And @ Matthew – I bet you either work from home or have a lot of time to take the bus or don’t have to worry about parking on the street.

  24. I hear in Westwood apron parking has been going on for many years. Not the case in SL — it’s a Westside habit that has only become widespread locally the last few years. What it mainly shows is that apartments that used to be occupied by a household with one car now have people living in them with two or more. What once were one income apartments now have rents so high that two incomes/ two cars are needed. You’ll never hear practical considerations discussed by Planning. I remember the really nice planner pointing to the 1920s 4 story brick apartment building at Sunset & Micheltorena and saying — “isn’t that a great building”

  25. @ we love parking – you are correct on one of those three; I don’t have to worry about street parking. Traffic and parking drove me crazy in my first three years in LA, so in 2004 I gave up my car. My wife and I have both lived car free since. Ride a bike, take public transport, enroll in a car share. Or, I guess, throw a fit when the city doesn’t let you store you private property on public space for free in the way you would most prefer.

  26. Simple really…throw out all the shit in your garage, and stick your car in it!

  27. I have seen moms pushing baby carriages having to walk into the street because of the apron parking. Sorry but you can’t block the sidewalk. Park your car legally and safely and walk.

  28. maybe you can parallel park your cars, blocking the driveway itself? you wouldn’t be on the apron or the sidewalk, and they most likely don’t ticket those cars unless the owner of the driveway calls to complain. i’m making this assumption based on the fact that they never tickets cars blocking my driveway even if I do call.

  29. Legal apron parking does not block the sidewalk. I never allow my car to hang over the sidewalk as I fully expect a ticket. The the front half of my car is on the apron, and the back half is on the same part of the street as the cars who parallel park. In no way am I obstructing anybody. Also, my handicapped father-in-law had no problem getting around my car. Those who do deserve their tickets.

    As for those who park in front of garages, please keep in mind many they are off-limits to tenants as the landlords keep them for their own use.

    One more note – Due to the parking situation, I actually do walk for most of my errands. There is no way though that I can completely give up my car, given all the elderly relatives I have to drive to appointments, middle of the night emergencies, and the occasional backwoods camping trip.

  30. Oops, meant those who obstruct traffic and pedestrians deserve their tickets, not handicapped persons who have difficulty maneuvering.

  31. @ Noni. I asked DOT spokesman Gillman about that. His response was that apron parking of any kind is illegal.

  32. I can only dream of a time when apartment and home owners are forced to use the parking that the buildings were constructed with. The owner/tenant parking was a requirement of the planning permission for the construction. This is one of only cities in the world that was built with parking garages and spaces from the beginning of the modern age, yet we have nothing but cars blocking every street from San Pedro to San Fernando and many empty yards with garages full of junk. Can you imagine the flow of traffic on all of those 4 lane roads that have become 2 lanes because everyone is parking on the street, if they took away the street parking? Is it just laziness? Is it too difficult to park it somewhere that takes a little bit more skill and patience? And if you want a better public transit system, start using the one that’s already here! If it becomes profitable they will bulldoze anything that gets in their way to make it bigger and better. The truth is that public transit in Los Angeles has always lost money. Always. Who is going to pay for it? The tea party?

  33. To all you whiny bitches:
    1) it’s illegal. Get over it
    2) until you can afford your own driveway, tough shit.
    3) I used to share your sentiments till last week. An autobody shop had a car parked straddling the apron. A woman in a wheelchair was cruising down the sidewalk towards said apron. She couldn’t get around the car. She sure as he’ll couldn’t hop the curb x-games style. She was f*%cked. No options.

    That’s why you can’t park there.

  34. “Forget it, Jake, it’s SilverLake…”

  35. @Hills – there is a guy in my Echo Park neighborhood – also hilly – who I see almost every day riding a motorized wheelchair in the street because the sidewalks are not negotiable. Here, it is not just cars in driveways but also trash cans stored on the sidewalk because people can’t/won’t drag them up the stairs to their houses or store them in their garages (those houses that have garages).

    Everytime I see him, on the one hand I want to tell him what he’s doing is far too dangerous on the steep, windy, narrow streets where a car could easily wipe him out, and on the other hand I want to applaud him for being independent and taking that risk. It would be great if the sidewalks were clear for people like him, but not sure how possible it is.

  36. The city is at fault for this situation, and now the city wants to penalize the desperate parkers.

    For instance, I live on the 800 Block of Hyperion Avenue. My building has 8 one-bedroom units, many of which have two roommates stuffed in them so they can afford the high rents being charged all over the city now. But there are only 8 parking spaces! AND the street is so narrow that parking is allowed only on one side of the street! AND the building was allowed to be built without the proper setbacks, and thus the driveway is not long enough for cars to be parked in it.

    Thus, the situation described here. Yet, the city now thinks the renters should be penalized for it! The city planners for decades have been approving building designs that never should have been allowed — and now the city penalizes the renters for it!

    Rest assured that talk of a lawsuit is just a fake smokescreen. This is merely about the city finding yet another way to impose La Mordida, as the city has been doing at every turn now for years.

  37. @eastsidearts and @libertad 1) Many of the garages in our neighborhood were built in the 1920’s, too small for modern day cars. I can drive into my garage but I can’t open the doors. 2) as others have mentioned, many households have 1 garage and two or more roommates/family members in the house. My neighbors have a 2 bedroom with 4 adults and 1 garage and 1 apron parking spot for 4 cars. 3) Yes, some people could remove their crap from their garages and park in them. But you’re assuming the majority of people who park in parkways are only doing so because they have crap in their garages. This is simply not true. Also, many people use their parkway for guests. Parkways help alleviate the parking issues we have widespread throughout the city.

    @Matthew: we are defending the helpless cars at stopLADOT.com

    Try making your suggestion to my sister in law who has an 18month old, 4yr old and 7yr old. Or to my elderly neighbor who has been parking in her parkway for 30 years. Many elderly and disabled residents have written the city (it’s public record, look it up) complaining that their quality of life has been negatively impacted by the loss of their parkway parking spaces.

    @Corner Soul: Apron parking has nothing to do with broken sidewalks. Everyone who has parkway parking in LA knows NOT to block the sidewalk. LADOT has been systematically patrolling our neighborhoods for years enforcing ADA regulations and the CVC by ticketing those blocking the sidewalk. We are well trained NOT to block the sidewalk.

    @droogy: the person behind the ADA lawsuits is UCLA urban planning prof. Donald Shoup, a self-proclaimed “parking guru.” He does NOT care about the ADA, the lawsuits are about him promoting his own agenda. BTW, he doesn’t believe cities should have free parking. He wants meters everywhere. He’s an eccentric old man. He’s got some good ideas, but he’s nuts. I have written more about this on my site http://www.stopLADOT.com

    @52HZ: Yes it’s been illegal but the city has been fully aware of the practice and has not enforced the law for over 40 years because there is a shortage of parking spaces. The law needs to be amended and there is something we can do about it. I was told by city council that our complaints are “not falling on deaf ears”. We need to continue to bombard LADOT, the City Attorney and our councilmembers with our complaints. The entire city of LA is now being ticketed. They will listen to us.

    @AKML: Technically, I’m not sure. But the ADA wants every street to have a sidewalk. Anyway, apron parking has nothing to do with ADA. You can look up the entire ADA of 1990 online, it does not mention parkway or apron at all. I spoke to an ADA representative and she said they could care less if you park in your parkway. You just can’t block the sidewalk.

    @jmr: nice post. However, neighborhood permit zoning unfortunately does not work in all neighborhoods. For example, on Commonwealth off Sunset Dr. there are more units (because the street is all apartments) than there are parking spaces on that block. Furthermore, there is a moratorium on permit zoning. The city cannot add any new zones right now. Parkway parking is an easy, simple and cost effective solution to alleviate our parking issues immediately. That said, what will end up happening is we will have to get permits to park in our parkway, as per CVC (CA Vehicle Code)

    @james: when I first starting researching this issue I too thought it was about the city wanting another source of revenue. However, it’s really about a lame old UCLA prof. Donald Shoup. This single man has caused a lot of financial pain to the city. He wants to radically change parking policy and he is fully aware people are going to be outraged. He wrote, “people always whine when there is change. Change brings out the whiners.” There is some good coming out of the lawsuits, but I am not attributing that to this man.

    @Hills: the point is, parkway parking is in compliance with the ADA. The city knows this which is why they haven’t enforced the law against it in over 40 years. They will only ticket you IF you are blocking the sidewalk. The city is enforcing it now because of the class action lawsuits filed against the city.

    @wes: apron parking has been going on for over 40 years CITY WIDE. Not just westwood. In Los Feliz, I have a neighbor who has parked in her parkway for the last 30 years. Westwood got TONS of press because of Michael Dukakis and Donald Shoup – 2 high profiled UCLA professors who got a lot of media attention regarding apron parking. Also, don’t believe what you read about this issue in Westwood in the media. More about this on my site http://www.stopLADOT.com

    @Matthew: living car free is an ideal not everyone can achieve overnight. Many of us strive for it, but it will take time. The city cannot expect thousands of people who have been parking in their parkways to get rid of their cars at the switch of a light switch. It doesn’t happen like that. My husband freelances and uses his truck for work. My sister in law has 3 kids she has to schlep all over the place. Like I mentioned before, elderly and disabled residents have parkway parking and rely on it. It’s not fair for you to suggest that everyone can live like you. But kudos to you. Regarding your last comment, the city should implement a permit process for residents with parkway parking. That way they do pay for a permit fee to park there. This would be extra revenue for the city and help alleviate the parking problems we face. Win, win.

    @Alijill: Sometimes people drive through red lights. Should we take away everyone’s drivers license because some people every once and a while don’t stop completely at a stop sign? Yes, sometimes people block the sidewalk. And they will get ticketed for that. But those of us who have been parking in our parkway for YEARS do NOT block the sidewalk. Trust me, one $58 ticket and you don’t make that mistake twice.

    @maybe: parallel parking to the driveway is also illegal in LA. Fortunately for us with parkways, they haven’t started enforcing that law yet, at least not in my neighborhood.

    @grumpy: do we live in the same city? Current building codes require adequate parking per unit. However, our city was built years before when the codes were much different. Many apartment buildings in L.A. (I’m not sure what city you live in) were built with little to no parking.

    @buttplugger: this issue is going to impact everyone, not just those with parkway parking. Thousands of cars that used to have off street parking will now be competing with you for on street parking spaces. Maybe not on the street you live in, but in Sunset Junction, Los Feliz Village – anywhere you go shopping, eating, etc. you will have a more difficult time finding parking now. Also, as I mentioned before, many disabled residents have been using parkway parking. Anyway, parkway parking is ADA compliant.

  38. When the Maltman Bungalows were completed in 2008, the developers had Smart Car do a promotion showing how well their cars fit in the old 1926 single car garages.

    Since that time, Fiat has also restarted selling cars that would fit in small garages.

    http://www.maltmanbungalows.com/Photos.html

  39. @Mark – You’re 1/2 right re: “The City is at fault and penalizing the desperate.” Technically we live in a historic neighborhood of Los Angeles where cars didn’t exist but for the rich when the apartments and houses were built. It wasn’t the City’s fault back then. But now, knowing the current circumstances of overly dense living conditions and crappy public transportation, the City is at fault for approving any plans which don’t account for sufficient parking. Incidentally, I see no issue with 8 singles and 8 spaces. Those odds are better than most.

    As far as claiming the lawsuit does not exist, the Eastsider and StopLADOT include links to educate yourself into the reality of the situation. Thank Shoup and Dukakis.

    All – And incidentally, if you take a look at the Eastsider’s link up there, you’ll notice that the City Attorney requested LA DOT to take a look at the situation and determine if a solution that serves everyone can be met. StopLADOT is right. The only way to a solution is to turn your incessant bitching into ideas and tell your City Councilman or write the LA DOT.

  40. Simply tyrannical, non-representative government at work.

  41. @stopladot: My suggestion for your ” sister in law who has an 18month old, 4yr old and 7yr old” is to defend herself on the Internet, not have you raise her specter for her. And if she asked herself, I’d start with suggestion that she not ask everyone else to accept the consequences of her decision to have too many children.

  42. Sorry folks, but this is what happens when you vote exclusively for liberal elites.

    All the whining snot-nosed students at UCLA can just rot, as far as I’m concerned. Let them feel the effects of their blue state policies. Hint: it won’t stop at apron parking.

  43. @Matthew: while I’m passing along this message to my sister-in-law, should I go ahead and make the same call to your wife’s mother, your mother, grandmothers?

    I know you were being funny, but it was insulting.

    You are right, I will let my sister-in-law speak for herself. In my reply to you, I was trying to point out that people rely on these spots and not all people who rely on them can just give up their car, elderly and disabled residents in particular. Since some have submitted their statements for public record, you can read for yourself and not lecture me for speaking up for them:
    http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2010/10-1673_PC_7-27-11.pdf

  44. I received a ticket on Saturday (9/3) morning for apron parking on Hyperion. I was told by a parking enforcement officer that warnings were issued a week in advance, but I never received one. I checked with neighbors and they got tickets, but no warnings. Anyone else receive a ticket without a warning and plans to contest, or is that a waste of time?

  45. they have been ticketing for apron parking in Hancock Park for sometime

  46. I have a lot of sympathy for those who have lived in those neighborhoods for years and feel like the rules are changing. However, if you’ve moved there in the last 10 years, you kind of knew what the score was. I can see that businesses are hit especially hard. I don’t go to the West Side or even parts of Silver Lake, Echo Park, Sunset Village, etc., because of the lousy parking.Agree that the best action is to write to your council and suggest ideas. People listen to complaints if you propose a solution – it doesn’t even have to be a good one – otherwise it sounds like whining.

    @StopLaDot – nice job trying to fix rather than blame.

    Ok, I’ll go back to the good life in the Whittier College area, where I can park 10 cars in my driveway, not including the apron.

  47. So, One of those cars in the pics is mine. I had no clue about the new law. The picture lacks the other side of the dive-way that shows how spacious enough it is for the handicap to go through. TO my knowledge I never received an official warning but the ticket this morning!! FYI there are cars in the Garage therefore i do not park there. I was always so considerate about the lack of parking in the neighborhood, and hence i figured “hey, let me park MY OWN CAR IN MY OWN DRIVEWAY so others in the neighborhood can have some parking” I SWEAR to you all that that is the case. BUT SINCE I CANNOT BE conscientious anymore I will take the parking all the time now.

  48. here’s a novel idea. park INSIDE your garage instead of in front of it.

  49. Matthew come on man just be honest. You don’t have a car because you cant afford it. I’m sure your rolling up to your board meetings on your Huffy or BMX. Thats how you scored your wife with those shinny pink and white streamers coming off the handle bars. A little basket for your dog Todo when you go to the park. Right? Piked her up and took her to Mr. Chows on your back pegs.

  50. NOVEL idea guy. Nowadays who has only one car per house hold? CANNOT park INSIDE Garage,

  51. It’s legal in San Francisco, why can’t LA make it as simple without fees:
    Quote:
    SEC. 1004. PARKING OF VEHICLES ACROSS PRIVATE DRIVEWAYS.

    The owner or lessee of property shall be permitted to Park the owner’s or lessee’s vehicle across the private driveway of said property, provided that such vehicle displays a valid license plate registered to the address of that property with the Department of Motor Vehicles, and provided that such driveway serves no more than two family dwelling units. This Section does not permit the Parking of vehicles across sidewalks or in red zones.

    (SFMTA Bd. Res. No. 08-151, 8/19/2008)

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