City Council Votes To Do Away With Tickets For Broken Meter Park - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

City Council Votes To Do Away With Tickets For Parking At Broken Meters

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Los Angeles, CA -

The Los Angeles City Council is expected to vote today on a motion that would do away with the highly unpopular policy of writing out tickets to the owners of vehicles parked by broken meters.

The motion's author, Councilman Mike Bonin, said he wants to show people city government is "on your side'' by getting rid of the "foolish policy.'' If the full City Council approves his motion, the policy will be lifted immediately.

In 2010, the Department of Transportation began citing and imposing fines on people who park their cars at inoperable meters. The City Council reaffirmed that policy in 2012.

Since the policy was put in place, the city's parking meters have been replaced with ones that do not break as easily. The new meters, which take both coins and credit cards, also automatically alerts the city whenever it detects a malfunction.

"I introduced this motion because technology makes this policy irrelevant and frankly, people justifiably feel that it punishes them for something they didn't do wrong,'' Bonin said.

The Transportation Committee, which Bonin chairs, approved the motion last week while leaving open the possibility of reviving the policy later if needed.

Committee members said they opposed a state bill authored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto that would prevent the city from re-adopting the policy. If signed by the governor, Gatto's bill would bar cities from ticketing vehicles at broken meters starting in January.

The Transportation Committee voted to rush a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown in advance of today's City Council vote to urge a veto on Gatto's bill. The city's policy was put in place to combat vandalism involving meters, and city officials say they want the freedom to resume ticketing people if vandalism picks up again.

The city's parking meter technicians defended the citation policy last week, saying that before it was adopted, people intentionally jammed parking meters by slipping paper clips into coin slots, or they wrapped meters in plastic bags to make them appear broken.

 

From Hal Eisner:

New City Councilman Mike Bonin is big on technology. He says we need to use more of it in the city to make government run smoother. He says so in a YouTube video in which he makes the case for why the Council should rescind the law that makes it illegal to park at a broken parking meter. Do so and you get a ticket and a fine. Bonin says the 37,000-plus new "smart meters" LA now has are tough and don't break down as frequently as the old ones so the law is foolish and unnecessary.

This is Bonin's first motion as a new LA City Councilman. The law was approved by the Council in 2010 because people would break and jam the old meters and then park for free. The punitive law was to discourage that.

Bonin doesn't think that will happen if the law is rescinded because the new meters are hard to break.

The Council meets at 10:00am Wednesday morning, July 31st. A vote on the parking meter motion is expected.

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