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Parking meters now run until midnight in downtown Glendale, with enforcement to follow

Parking signs downtown Glendale Brand Boulevard new enforcement hours
New signs along downtown Glendale’s Brand Boulevard reflect that parking-enforcement hours now run until midnight. Currently, the city is issuing warnings for those who fail to feed the meter past 10 p.m., the former cutoff time.
(Lila Seidman)

On a recent Tuesday evening, parking enforcement officer Garo Nahabed said that come 10 p.m., he would switch from ticketing cars along Brand Boulevard to giving them warnings.

Although signs along downtown Glendale’s main drag were changed about two weeks ago to reflect the new enforcement hours, which now go until midnight instead of 10 p.m., enforcement has not yet gone into effect.

“We just give warnings to let people know the city changed the signs,” Nahabed said.

Enforcement is likely to begin in mid-March, although no exact date has been set, according to Glendale city spokeswoman Eliza Papazian. Glendale City Council members voted to enact a host of parking changes in November.

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Before 10 p.m., visitors parking on Brand will still be held accountable, Nahabed said, after dropping a pink slip on a vehicle’s windshield just after 8 p.m.

The same goes for Honolulu Avenue in Montrose, where enforcement hours have been extended to 8 p.m., from 6 p.m., Papazian said. Signs reflecting the new hours went up on Jan. 10.

Since Jan. 17, 1,363 warnings have been issued in Montrose, Papazian said. Since Feb. 3, about 300 warnings have been issued along Brand.

Before enforcement goes into effect, the goal is to further alert people to the changes through additional signage and outreach, Papazian said. Nahabed said his supervisor walks along Brand some evenings after 10 p.m. to personally alert visitors of the changes.

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Besides the hour changes, meter costs have gone up in both downtown Glendale and Montrose. On Brand, parking now costs $2 an hour, instead of $1.50. Side streets and parking lots in downtown cost $1.50, hiked from $1. Parking on Honolulu also runs visitors $1.50, up from $1.

Meter prices may continue to go up in 50-cent increments over the next few months, until the city hits what’s known as the target occupancy rate — the ideal number of cars in a given area — in the city’s most trafficked areas, said Dan McKinney of Transpo Group, a consultant for the city, in the fall.

Eventually, the city stands to make $700,000 annually in revenue from the combined increased fees, according to city parking manager Tad Dombroski.

Many people who were parked along Brand on Tuesday evening were not aware of the cost increases or enforcement-hour changes.

Echoing several others, Elliott Ulrick, a Dreamworks employee, said he didn’t think it would impact him much. The North Hollywood resident generally parks in a dedicated lot and often walks to destinations in downtown. Every once in a while, like this particular evening, he comes to meet friends after work.

Michael Rojas, of Sun Valley, said that although he wasn’t previously aware of the changes, he was irked that the city was simultaneously increasing prices and extending the enforcement hours.

“Now that I know, it’s frustrating, really, because the parking is already bad enough. It’s at the point where if you do find parking, you kind of want to throw a little party in your car if you don’t have to pay any rates,” said Rojas, adding that he spends a lot of time shopping and dining in Glendale.

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Downtown Glendale parking change notice
Signs like this will soon be posted in downtown Glendale to alert visitors to meter cost increases and enforcement hour changes.
(Courtesy of the city of Glendale )

Employees of businesses along the strip generally were aware of the changes, often fielding questions, and sometimes ire, from visitors grappling with the changes for the first time.

“They’re saying, ‘Omg, it’s until midnight, I can’t believe it’s until midnight!” said Katherine Carnevali, a waitress at Hot Wings Cafe on Brand.

Juan Hernandez, who works at Chess Park bar and grill, said customers have expressed similar exasperation.

“It’s a tourist city, basically, in Glendale,” said Hernandez, who lives in Pasadena.

Carnevali, a Glendale resident who has been working at the restaurant for 15 years, said she’s come to expect parking increases, and noted that the costs of everything have been going up. It was a point echoed by several others.

About four years ago, meter costs on Brand were bumped up to $1.50, from $1.

Glendale City Councilman Vartan Gharpetian, who cast the lone vote against extending the parking until midnight, said this week he still feels that the change “is excessive.”

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One of the rationales behind the changes was to encourage people to park in several city-owned public parking lots located in busy hubs, according to city officials.

There, parking is free for the first 90 minutes. Fees for time spent in the lot beyond 90 minutes may also see incremental hikes over the next few months, according to city officials.

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