As coronavirus cases surge, L.A. postpones plans to ticket during street sweeping
Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, Los Angeles lawmakers said Wednesday that parking officials will not resume writing tickets during street sweeping until August at the earliest.
The City Council voted 13 to 1 to extend L.A.'s relaxed parking rules, which took effect in March when the pandemic stay-at-home order was first imposed.
The city will not ticket vehicles that are parked in rush-hour and anti-gridlock zones or in residential areas during street sweeping until Aug. 1 at the earliest, officials said. Nor will parking officials ticket vehicles with expired registration.
The decision overturns the Transportation Department’s announcement last week that parking enforcement would resume July 6, a decision greeted with dread in areas where street parking is scarce and far more people are home than usual.
Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who represents parts of Silver Lake, Atwater Village and Hollywood, said he had received an “avalanche” of comments from unhappy residents after the city announced that street sweeping tickets would return.
“More people are at home now than ever,” O’Farrell said, who introduced the motion to extend the relaxed enforcement. “We don’t even know what the next day, two, three, four, five days are going to bring, much less what will happen next week, when parking enforcement resumes its regular functions.”
Newsom orders counties to halt visits to indoor restaurants, wineries, entertainment centers, movie theaters, zoos and museums for at least three weeks.
California’s reopening has stalled as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, particularly in Los Angeles County. Local health officials now estimate that 1 in 140 county residents are unknowingly infected with the virus, a massive increase since last week’s projection of 1 in 400.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday ordered Los Angeles County and six other counties to close their bars and nightspots, which had been allowing indoor dining under reduced capacity rules. On Wednesday, Newsom banned indoor dining at restaurants in 19 counties, including Los Angeles.
Los Angeles is still enforcing some parking rules, including ticketing vehicles left at expired meters. Mayor Eric Garcetti has said that focus is designed to encourage turnover outside restaurants and other businesses that are relying on curbside pickup and delivery services.
Residents who can prove they are unemployed can have the late fees for their parking tickets waived, provided they pay the base fine amount by the end of the year, the city said. People who are otherwise facing financial hardship may also qualify for a payment plan, the city said.
Anyone seeking a waiver or financial assistance should call the Transportation Department’s hotline at (866) 561-9742.
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