From the Archives: Parking lot jammed by transit strike

June 20, 1955: After a transit strike brought thousands of additional cars to downtown Los Angeles p
June 20, 1955: Sue Diane Blanke asks lot attendant Billy Funkhouser to get her car out of a jammed parking lot. Impossible, Funkhouser replied.
(Bill Murphy / Los Angeles Times)

After 2,300 Los Angeles Transit Lines streetcar and bus employees went on strike, traffic in downtown Los Angeles spiked.

The June 21, 1955, Los Angeles Times reported:

Traffic, thy name was jam yesterday, especially in the downtown area, as the Los Angeles Transit Lines were idled by strike.

Dep. Police Chief Harold Sullivan, in charge of the Traffic Bureau, estimated that an additional 100,000 automobiles were added to the normal downtown vehicular crush .…

Sullivan said traffic to downtown was up about 40%. With this increase in automobiles the usually grim parking problem became almost hopeless for thousands.

Entrances to downtown parking lots often were blocked by queues of motorists waiting their turns and these lines of idled cars disrupted traffic on most streets in the downtown area.

Almost choked by automobiles that are usually left home in garages by would-be riders, the lots were hard put to find room for the vehicles of later-arriving shoppers .…

And as the above photo by Bill Murphy illustrates, woe to the car owner who tried to leave early.

This post was originally published on Feb. 4, 2014.

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