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

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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