Would changing Echo Park’s street sweeping hours make it easier to find parking? [correction]

no parking street sweeping sign

ECHO PARK — Finding a parking space near Liz Regan’s home is often a challenge. But things get really tough on Thursday and Friday mornings. That’s when one side of the streets near Echo Park and Scott avenues are off-limits from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. for street sweeping, prompting residents to emerge from homes and apartments to move their vehicles and find a precious space nearby.  But that ritual could be far less annoying if the No Parking hours were shifted to later in the morning, said Regan. That’s possible, according to the Bureau of Street Services, but not easy.

Like many of her neighbors, Regan does not have an off-street parking space and leaves for work after 8 a.m. She gets home late from her job on the Westside, which means she usually can’t grab a spot the night before on the side of the street not subject to cleaning.

“I have driven around countless mornings for over 30 minutes looking for a spot,” said Regan, who drives an 2010 Audi.  “This makes me late for work. I have two neighbors that let me double-park in front of their driveway sometimes but I only do that as a last resort. And another last resort is I pay a local guy $10 to drive my car for 30 minutes.”

Regan’s idea would be to shift the No Parking hours to begin later in the morning. More residents would have driven off to work before the No Parking restrictions – and tickets – begin. Parking would be more plentiful for those who stay behind.

“In the past five years, morning street parking has steadily gotten worse,” Regan said. “Even a 2-hour push to 10 am-12 pm would make a huge difference – the streets would be clear after more people head off to work.”

Richard Lee, a spokesman for the Department of Public Works, said changing No Parking hours is done through a process that involves residents, the Bureau of Street Services, the local council office and the Department of Transportation. The process begins with a petition showing that at least 75% of residents would favor the change.

Lee provided more details via email:

The process begins with a formal petition that includes specific locations (addresses, block numbers, street names, etc) so the BSS can perform a comprehensive assessment of the feasibility of such request. The assessment may include but is not limited to operational and financial impacts. Other factors will also be considered such as whether or not seventy-five percent (75%) of the residents involved are in favor of the change (as evidenced by a survey with signatures), debris deposition, starting and ending points, locations of schools and proximity to other sweeping routes.

After the assessment is completed, the Bureau may recommend the requested time adjustment which will be forwarded to the respective council office for their consideration. If the time adjustment is approved, LADOT removes the old sign and installs new ones indicating the new time.

Residents who want to start the petition are encouraged to first check with their council office and LADOT for more details

Of course, says Regan, Echo Park’s No Parking restrictions could also be eliminated if the city did away with street sweeping in the first place.

“Personally I’d be fine with no street cleaning,” Regan said. “I have pictures of the road after [street sweepers] come through, and they don’t make a difference.”

Correction: A previous version of the story said that Richard Lee was a spokesman for the Department of Transportation. That’s wrong. He’s with the Department of Public Works.

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  1. If ticketing poor people were a major source of revenue for you, you’d make it really hard to improve the hours, too.

    • …except the people who complain about street sweeping are usually audi drivers, you know? not many poor people take the time to get quoted on stories like these, but if you read something on schools/crime/rent they’re all over it.

      also her street sweeping starts at 8? boohoo! mine starts at 4:30am. half the street i live on is basically off limits unless you are nocturnal. 8am? yes please! i’d just leave early for work or get coffee or something. street sweeping is dumb but whining about street sweeping is the worst.

      • Tony the Main Spoon

        Being a Scott Ave resident, my answer is: Yes it would!

        • On Clinton, Bonnie Brae, etc, east of Alvarado the street sweeping hours are 10:00-12:00 and we have the same problem trying to find parking either the night before (pretty much impossible) and the morning of, impossible. We’ve resorted to alley parking a couple times and received tickets. It should be obvious to ticket police that there is not a spare place available for blocks. Also, I’m ill and can’t drive four blocks away and walk back and forth in order to park. A handicapped plaque doesn’t allow parking during these hours.

          Hermit, no reason for your attitude, for Pete’s sake. Doesn’t matter if a car is brand new or nearly ten years old like mine, to people who go to work or work from home this is a legitimate problem. I think every other week or monthly street cleaning would be adequate and reasonable. The thrown-away furniture and mattresses will be picked up if you call 311.

          • 10am to 12 noon is even easier than 8am, and you have a handicap placard giving you free access to loading zones, green zones, blue zones, free meters…

            You’ve gotten tickets only a couple times, which says to me that most of the time, you get by OK, right?

            I don’t feel badly for you. We live in a city that’s been sweeping streets for years, with signs telling you as much that have been out in public for years.

            Is street sweeping a scam? Probably! But on the list of “things we need to fix in Los Angeles” it deserves a spot between “graffiti in storm drains” and “the line at Langer’s is too long sometimes.”

      • Tony the Main Spoon

        Sorry about your situation Kermit, sounds like a nightmare.

      • not many rich people drive 2010 audis

    • I’m going with laziness rather than greed.

      To maximize parking fines, parking enforcement and the Bureau of Street Services would actually have to talk to each other and coordinate, something LA city departments would NEVER do..

    • I would hope that Richard Lee was embarrassed and mortified while answering questions about the procedures required to change street parking hours on sweeping days! It is absolutely ludicrous! (See quote in story above.)

      A question for Mr. Lee: Were all the steps required for changes actually followed way back when the street-sweeping hours were first initiated into law? I doubt it. I think the residents were told, “Hey, we’ve decided to sweep the streets, so here are the hours yours will be swept. Get your cars out of the way or you’ll get a ticket.”

  2. How about street cleaning once a month rather than every week?

    • I vote Yes!

    • Considering how little the sweepers actually clean up — I laugh at how many times litter and dirt is left behind on a weekly basis — they could cancel sweeping in these residential neighborhoods and no one would notice. Once a month seems reasonable. I can think of many other neighborhoods who need weekly sweeping more.

      Also, I’d love for Parking Enforcement to stop ticketing people AFTER the sweepers pass. If the sweeper is gone, and I park in front of my house (no driveway) at 9:30am, who is getting hurt exactly? Oh, Parking Man’s ticket quota. I forgot.

  3. Whenever it is, I’ll know that I can ride my bike up Echo Park Ave during those hours and have a little more room to avoid being buzzed by the speeding cars. Remember, the speed limit is 25 mph along there!

  4. This is a classic First World Problem! Honestly-have had the privilege of living in the neighborhood for 20 plus years….
    This discussion is a bit of an embarrassment, no? Sorry, had to say it…leaves me wondering? So many more important things to tackle-homelessness, broken sidewalks, affordable housing, etc? But OK, the street sweeper is a weekly inconvenience? seems pithy……

    • Do you have a driveway?

      • Well, I don’t have a driveway, I work in an office and at home, and I think this discussion is embarrassing. I’m sure you’re a nice, considerate person—I don’t mean this as disrespect to you or your character—but this is such a dumb problem and waste of time and I think the outrage you hear from some of the people on here about how it falls on the backs of poor working Angelenos is disingenuous. Jaywalking tickets fall on the backs of the poor. Evictions fall on the backs of the poor. Bad schools. Bad transit. Bad policing.

        Street sweeping? I’m grateful I have a car and can park it in on my street house for all but 4 hours out of the week.

        I’d be willing bet the signs were there before you moved to Echo Park. Irrespective of whether or not the trucks work, the tickets are avoidable.

    • You must be my neighbor who has a driveway and garage, but parks 8+ cars on the street because their driveway is full of junk. You want to know why people whine? It’s because of neighbors like you. Free up some parking with your junk cars, and maybe people would whine less!

  5. Heheh, this kinda reads like an Onion article. Perhaps she should be thankful for the free storage of her private property the other 166 hours of the week, instead of complaining about the 2 hours when the city cleans the street?

  6. Although it is a pain, at least street cleaning forces the inconsiderate parkers to move their cars! Otherwise they would just leave their poorly parked cars, taking up 2 spaces indefinitely. In front of our place, there is a space that can hold 2 cars. If I do not park first and pull up to the end of the curb, allowing space for another car, someone will always just park in the middle and leave it there until the next cleaning. PEOPLE, PLEASE PARK WITH CONSIDERATION SO OTHERS CAN PARK TOO!

  7. Thanks to Eastsider for giving this attn. I had no idea I’d be so central to the story…but if gets the conversation going then so be it. I would happily support abolition of street cleaning, but I don’t think I’ll win that fight. 4:30am street cleaning…that is Just Wrong. I figured 8am was the earliest. However, I live close to the school..so 8am, is very busy. I’d also wonder if rezoning key streets would help. Some streets are 10-12 next to 8-10am, intersecting the grids, rather than huge sections all being one time. Right now I think the hood across Sunset (by Echo P. Lake) is 10-12. There are solutions here. And I’m willing to canvas the hood to get signatures.

    • Hi Liz —

      Did anything every come of this? New to the neighborhood and immediately recognizing how much that change you’d like would help me out as well.

  8. Yeah, I don’t really know what good the street sweepers are really doing either. Basically they come along each week and push the trash around that the trash trucks dumped when some driver lazily pushed a button in the truck that should be called ‘activate spastic grabber that whips trash cans into the air while they spew trash’. All around… worst system ever.

  9. So weird; the person in the article has to spend 30 minutes moving their car, and this makes them late to work…hint – just go to work! Problem solved.

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