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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: A cancer patient’s car was towed. That’ll show those parking scofflaws

No parking
A temporary no-parking sign in Los Angeles.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I realize that parking ticket revenues are essential for cities that struggle to pay their bills. Speed traps also help small communities when parking fines aren’t enough.

So, given the city of Los Angeles’ towing of a car belonging to a cancer patient who unintentionally left his vehicle parked on the street for longer than 72 hours because of a medical emergency, I have a few suggestions that towns might consider to enhance their treasuries.

Why not nail folks in wheelchairs who take too long in crosswalks? Taller and more confusing street signs could be a real money maker. Another option is to allow two-hour parking, but add on the sign, “until 4 p.m.” This will catch those scofflaws who get stuck waiting in doctor’s offices.

If you get desperate, you might want to ramp it up and catch folks who zoom past school buses with flashing red stoplights as kids get out and try to cross the street.

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But that would be too hard. And besides, that’s not a parking problem.

Jerry Lasnik, Thousand Oaks

..

To the editor: This tragic story highlights another problem: the fear endured by people forced to live in their cars.

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They face daily harassment from law enforcement, nightly discomfort trying to sleep in a confined space with lack of basic hygiene essentials, and for women the ever present threat of being attacked or worse. Added to this is the anxiety of receiving a parking ticket or having their car towed, as I witnessed last week.

A friend had innocently parked in a private lot while he attended a meeting; an hour later when he went for his car, he saw that it had been towed. In order to get it released, he had to pay $260 immediately or face an additional charge of $60 per night for storage.

This is not just his car but also his home with all his possessions, documents and clothes. If he had not been able to borrow the money to get his car back, the vehicle would have been sold. I thought a warning on his windshield would have been sufficient.

We live in harsh times.

Paul Elder, Malibu


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