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.”