The Year of Parking Courageously

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Note: This article first appeared on Crosstown and is shared with their permission in partnership with Los Angeleno. You can subscribe to Crosstown for crime, traffic and air quality news here.

Los Angeles has issued many fewer tickets during the pandemic.

The City of Los Angeles issued more than 1.3 million parking tickets last year, a steep drop from the more than 2 million tickets a year it typically issues, according to Los Angeles Department of Transportation data.

There were nearly 188,000 citations issued in February. The coronavirus lockdown began the next month, and the city moved to relax parking enforcement to make it easier for people staying home to avoid getting a ticket. In April, just 44,040 tickets were handed out.

The numbers began creeping up the next month, with the 55,919 tickets issued in March representing a nearly 27% increase from April. In July, 86,969 vehicles were ticketed.

The relaxed parking enforcement came to an end on Oct. 15, and the pace of ticketing shot up immediately. That month brought 195,084 citations, a nearly 102% increase from September’s 96,661 tickets. The monthly tally remained above 150,000 for the remainder of the year. (The Department of Transportation did not collect complete data in 2019, making comparisons with last year impossible.)

Vehicle owners were given 292,323 citations last year for parking during street cleaning days — that’s 22% of all tickets issued. There were 271,343 tickets for an expired meter, 21% of the total. Red zone violations accounted for nearly 12% of the tickets issued.

Densely-packed downtown ranked first in the number of citations issued last year with 5,710, followed by Hollywood, with 3,779. In Porter Ranch, just four tickets were handed out.

The drop in parking tickets may have felt like a holiday for car owners, but it impacted the city’s bottom line, as the money helps pay for things such as street improvements. City Controller Ron Galperin last year projected that city revenue could be nearly $600 million below projections in the current fiscal year (which runs through June 30).

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