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Tower of confusing parking signs near Culver City school removed

Towering parking signs near Culver City school confuse rather than clarify rules, drivers say
Culver City removes tower of confusing parking signs near school

Don’t even think about parking here.

At least, that’s what some neighbors are saying after several towering parking signs went up around Linwood E. Howe Elementary School in Culver City. If you wanted to read all the restrictions, you’d have to crane your neck.

No parking 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays for street cleaning.

Tow away on school days.

No stopping Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Those are just a few of the rules on one pole with eight metal parking restriction signs attached to it.

The signs were posted Thursday.

By Friday afternoon, the signs were gone, said Culver City Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells.

Sahli-Wells -- who has a son who attends the school -- said there have been parking and traffic problems in the area around the school for several years. When neighborhood parking restrictions were put into place two years ago, “it relieved the community, but made it very difficult for teachers, staff and parents to access the school,” she said in an e-mail.

The towering sign included notices about a new school valet program run by Culver City Unified School District staff meant to “avoid the double (even triple) parking and severe traffic backups” near the school, she said.

The signs meant to inform parents about the valet program were “supposed to be temporary and intended to let people know about the new valet program,” she said. But the signs looked permanent and were included with permanent parking restriction signs.

The towering signs “are an example of a good program with misguided communication,” Sahli-Wells said. “When I saw the number of signs, originally intended to communicate to the public and school community about the new procedures, it was clear to me and everyone else who saw them that rather than clarifying the new procedures, they were just confusing.”

Culver City resident Rob Stemm lives on one of the streets where the signs were posted and said neighbors received notices about a community meeting before the signs went up. He thought there might be one sign added to the poles – not several – and didn’t attend the meeting.

“In a city … known for parking and traffic issues, its easy to see why we have traffic and parking problems,” Stemm said in an email. “I feel bad for people who visit the street, as it’s very confusing if you can park there.”

Ultimately, there will only be four signs posted to the poles, the mayor said.

And plenty of staff on hand to help with parking on the first day of school Monday.

Follow the reporter @haileybranson. 

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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