Few things about life in L.A. cause readers to gripe more than traffic. So it's no surprise that when the one thing thought to bring relief from road congestion (not driving) costs more in both money and stress, letter writers make their displeasure known.
In response to The Times' article Tuesday reporting that a handful of L.A. neighborhoods get a disproportionate share of attention (and $73 tickets) from the city's parking officers on street-sweeping days, readers wrote of their own frustration after finding those ubiquitous white envelopes on their windshields. Several accused City Hall of disingenuousness in its rigorous enforcement of street-sweeping restrictions, but a few said drivers have only themselves to blame.
Jim Cody of North Hollywood questions the city's motive:
When I went to USC in the early 1980s, I lived off campus. While I had to pay street-sweeper tickets several times after forgetting to move my car, I remember seeing an actual street sweeper in my neighborhood only once in four-plus years.
It's been obvious to me since then that these tickets are less about street sweeping than they are a scam to squeeze money out of people who are too poor to afford off-street parking. Nobody who has any power in the city government cares; evidently, they all park in garages.
West Hollywood resident John Lynch blames inattentive car owners:
Well, boohoo. The only reason people get street-sweeping tickets is that they're either too lazy or ignorant to think ahead and park elsewhere to avoid cleaning hours.
Claiming a lack of parking is nonsense. They just want to be able to park on the other side of the street instead of maybe having to walk an extra block or two to their cars.
This is the reality of owning a car in the city. Deal with it.
Diane Stanfield of Santa Monica makes her case for having her fine revoked:
In March of this year, I parked on Venice Boulevard in L.A. to drop off something at an office. The street sweeper was ahead of me and had cleaned the block I was parked on.
When I returned, a parking enforcement officer approached my car, took a photo and wrote a ticket. I stated that the street cleaner had been ahead of me. His response: "It doesn't matter."
The ticket was $73. Although I wrote to the mayor's office, I never received a response.
Steven Leffert of Lake Balboa says City Hall has worsened the parking problem:
There's a reason residents can't find a space to park their cars on street-cleaning days, or for that matter most days.
City Hall has allowed new apartment construction with a reduced number of parking spaces when a small percentage of the apartments are for low-income residents. The savings on rent gets eaten up with parking tickets because there are too few spaces off the street, and residents must park on the streets.
The city giveth and the city taketh away.