It isn't just parking that complicates life in Malibu. No, some residents of that beach-side hamlet want everyone to know just how tough it can be living in paradise.
Responding to The Times' editorial on that city's novel plan to enlist parking vigilantes to ticket cars deposited in the same spot for too long, a few Malibu residents took issue with the editorial board's view that the program "is just one more way of making Malibu inhospitable to visitors."
The Malibu residents who wrote us didn't appreciate this, and some vouched for their own hospitality -- by pointing out how burdensome visitors are on their town. As one resident wrote in a letter:
"Malibu is 'inhospitable' to visitors? The reality, as supported by statistics, doesn't hold up. With hundreds of thousands of visitors on any given summer weekend, those of us who live here are virtual prisoners of the city's charm, celebrity and its own poor planning.
"I have a right to enjoy the summer too but can't because the one road in and out of town is clogged with traffic, cyclists, pedestrians, parked cars, paparazzi and looky-loos.
"Malibu isn't inhospitable to visitors. Seriously outnumbered residents would just like to have as much freedom to come and go, access local services and frequent stores and restaurants as the 'visitors' who traipse and trample through town, burden emergency, police and fire services and leave nothing but carbon dioxide fumes and human detritus behind."
Nice to know our business is appreciated.
Malibu residents have written to us before complaining about the problems that tourists visiting the town's beaches present for them. If their goal is to be persuasive to outsiders, my advice to them is this: In defending your efforts to deal with tourists, acknowledge you're in the enviable position of living in a place people want to visit, and understand that you endure common big-city problems like unbearable traffic mostly on summer weekends. After all, if having J. Crew and other upscale retailers moving in grips your town in anxiety, you probably have it pretty good.