Amgen bike race takes some Highland Park car owners by surprise

Apparently many drivers did not see the temporary no parking signs | Jane Parshall

Apparently many drivers did not see the temporary no parking signs | Jane Parshall

HIGHLAND PARK — Jane Parshall had never heard of the Amgen Tour of California, the nation’s largest bike race, until it was too late.  On Sunday morning, Parshall discovered that her Volvo station wagon had been impounded because it had been parked on Piedmont Avenue, part of the route the elite cyclists took as they raced through on their way to the finish line in Pasadena. When Parshall went to claim her Volvo, she ran into many other Northeast L.A. residents whose vehicles had also been impounded for being left on the route.

Parshall, whose neighbor’s Honda Fit was also towed, said residents had not been given enough time to see the signs and avoid getting their vehicles impounded.

“None of us saw the [no parking] signs until today,” Parshall said in an email sent on Sunday. “We think the city should have properly (and in a timely fashion) informed the residents of the streets where the race would take place, and would like to protest the charges.”

The tour’s course changes every year, with the 2015 route sending riders circling around downtown Los Angeles before zipping through Lincoln Heights, Cypress Park, Highland Park and Eagle Rock on the final leg of the race.

It’s not clear how many motorists had their car impounded on Sunday. But when Parshall went to recover her vehicle at the impound lot late Sunday morning, there were at least half a dozen other people in line whose vehicles had also been towed for the same reason.

Parshall had to pay $277.80 in fines and towing fees.


  1. The signs were up 5 days before, and lots of them…What a great event, too bad people didn’t come out to support the riders!

  2. I have in my hands a very nicely produced flyer mailed to everyone within a mile of the bike route over a week ago. What’s more, the “No Parking between 1 a.m. and 1 p.m.” signs were ubiquitous, as were the temporry barricades on every corner (I’m astonished that the City has so many!) There’s just no reason to claim surprise. It was a great race and a wonderful excuse for neighbors to gather!

    • Dang, it must have been sandwiched in between 18 Bennett Keyeser and Ref Rodriguez flyers, which, as always, were summarily dispatched to the recycling bin. They went right by my house and I would’ve loved to have gone out and watched.

      • Ain’t that the truth about Keyser & Rodriguez? Fortunately for me, the Amgen flyer fell out. But even if it hadn’t, we were drowning in no parking signs north of Monte Vista where the cross streets were closed to thru traffic.

        • Call me shallow, but the sheer number of Rodriguez ads (and their sour negative nature, and all the $$ being spent) caused me to turn against him.

  3. Jorge Gorganzola

    Nice to see the bike lanes get used on Colorado!

  4. Seems like another person is out for their 15 minutes of fame. Unless you live in a cave then you’ve probably “never heard of the Amgen Tour of California”. I don’t buy this claim either. City is USUALLY good about posting no parking signs no matter what is going on (even tree trimming).

  5. My car was not impounded. HOWEVER… the flyer that was distributed said that there was no parking between 6am and 1pm. Then, when the signs went up, the time was changed to 1am. So there was a lack of consistency in noticing. Additionally, the signs were installed in a very halfass fashion, put up with bent paper clips. They could easily be taken down. Thirdly, this event caused a huge impact and took a great deal of City resources. The least the sponsors could have done would be to try and alert car owners before towing them, otherwise it looks like a cash grab. With filming, there are personnel very visible to assist residents in working around the event. With this tour, there was no one to be found. Calls to the number on the flyer went unanswered.

    To give you some perspective – see how Pasadena handled this same event. Neighborhood outreach began months earlier. The city worked closely with residents and businesses on impacts to parking. Los Angeles, as usual, has very little respect for its residents and is more concerned with the fees Amgen paid for City crew/PD overtime.

  6. I didn’t see the signs on Monte Vista until the day before — maybe they were put up sooner, but I didn’t notice them in my busy day to day life. I live within a block of MV, and never saw any fliers in my mailbox or posted. Thankfully I didn’t park there on Saturday night, but I feel for those that did. There was no indication that the streets would be closed off either. Better neighborhood publicity would have helped immensely, especially if you’re going to inconvenience residents.

    The race was great to see, although if you blinked you would miss it they were going so fast!

  7. glassellparkgringo

    I once hit a biker on Fletcher in 2008. He did not die but I prayed to God everyday after… I am still haunted for my crime… I was on oxycontin….
    I am now a gentrifier…

  8. My house is right on the route. The small postcard that came in the mail that told about the race was poorly produced (pertinent facts buried in garbled text and grim grey/white printing) and easily recycled. I did see the no parking signs but I think they went up maybe 4 days before so it wasn’t the best or more helpful job getting the info out. A kind neighbor took the postcard and blew it up then distributed the information door to door. The race was excellent but I think the towed cars and bad feelings could have been avoided.

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