Greta Cobar

Keep It Free – Your Spirit and Your Parking Spot

By Greta Cobar

The Coastal Commission hearing on Overnight Parking Districts in Venice is scheduled for June 13, 8:30 am at the Long Beach City Council Chambers, 333 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach 90802.  Attend and speak up against OPDs in Venice.  For more information on free public transportation from Venice to Long Beach and back visit venicebeachhead.org or call 310-399-2215.

Just as we have back in 2009 and 2010, our community is coming together once again to defeat a scheme that would force us to pay to park in front of our houses without guaranteeing a spot.

The proposed Overnight Parking Districts (OPDs) would allow only residents with permits to park between 2 and 5 am. However, there is no shortage of spaces between 2 am and 5 am. Ever. Therefore, OPDs will not provide more parking spaces or in any way solve the current parking problems.

Also, sooner or later we and our guests will get the $68 parking tickets – they would be inevitable.

Permits cannot be ordered online. Someone has to drive to 9911 W. Pico Blvd., in Los Angeles, between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, to pick them up for $15 each, limit three per residence. Visitor permits valid for one night only can be purchased for $1. Other temporary 4-month visitor permits are available for $10. Should the guest reimburse the resident?

It is predictable that the cost of all permits and parking tickets will increase and probably double on a yearly basis. The City of Los Angeles is scheduled to cash in more than a million dollars in fees during the first year of OPDs in Venice. Venice will not see a dime of it, though.

The 2/3 vote required for each block to establish OPDs is farce democracy that will fall victim to the domino effect: if one bock establishes OPDs, all guests, visitors and travelers will park on the nearby blocks that don’t require OPDs.  Then those blocks will unwillingly be forced into establishing OPDs.

Beach and walk street residents will not be eligible for OPDs.  So where would they park in the event of OPD approval? Everyone else will be parking on the streets not eligible for OPDs.

We might not like some of the people moving in lately, but how many parking tickets do we think they should get right after moving in? How soon will they be able to take a day off in order to go to the Parking Enforcement office on Pico to pick up their permits? Well, first they would need to get a utility bill (cable TV, landline phone bill, gas, electricity or water) or an official property tax bill/rental lease agreement. Until then they’ll just keep on getting tickets. Either that, or they will park on the block where the residents opted not to establish OPDs. And where will those residents park then?

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