Homeowners on the 200 block of South Crescent Drive are petitioning City Council on Tuesday, November 16th to modify the preferential parking zone on their block. They want a new ‘No Parking Anytime Permit Q Exempt’ designation. Only Q-permit holders could park. That may benefit a few dozen homeowners but it would inconvenience visitors who depend on an hour of parking without a Q-permit. More important, if approved the designation would push that parking demand to numerous adjacent multifamily blocks where capacity is already limited.
If this sounds vaguely familiar it is because we’ve been here before! These same households brought a parking petition to the Traffic and Parking Commission 18 months ago. In fact it is the very same petition: the same application, the same list of signatories. Find it in today’s staff report.
The ‘No Parking Anytime Permit Q Exempt petition was reviewed by the Traffic and Parking Commission in February of 2020 and moved forward with a split vote: only three commissioners could support it. Now City Council is asked to approve the 18-month old petition which, if approved, would keep visitors from parking on the 200 block of Crescent unless they had the area Q-permit hangtag. That means multifamily residents on Elm, Crescent, Canon and Reeves will see greater demand for parking on those multifamily blocks and Charleville and Gregory too.
You can take action at the November 16, 2021 City Council 7pm meeting by calling (310) 288-2288 as the item is being heard. Follow the prompts and tell the receptionist you want to comment on agenda item G1: Crescent Drive parking zone. You can also email the City Clerk with a comment any time up to discussion of the item at email@example.com. In the subject line put ‘Public comment for G1: Crescent Drive parking zone.” Watch the meeting live online or on Channel 10. Find the agenda posted online.
- Street parking is difficult to find on Q-zone blocks in multifamily areas because some residents in our older apartments must park on the streets;
- Residents in MM and AZ zones (on Elm) are already limited to basically two blocks where they can park with a permit and under the proposed change wouldn’t be able to park on Crescent even for the hour that they can today;
- Beverly Vista school reorganization has affected all of us and perhaps nobody as much as multifamily residents in Q, MM and AZ zones;
- Enforcement should be the answer — not a more restricted parking zone — if visitors are parking on Crescent without a permit and overstaying the 1-hour time limit.
Canon homeowners make some of these points in their petition but their answer is simply to protect their own block and as if they own the curb. City Council needs to hear from multifamily residents that disagree. Your emails and telephone calls count!
Why This Petition Must Fail
Multifamily residents south of Wilshire already have a parking problem: older apartments don’t generally provide enough parking and so parking occupancy on multifamily blocks is already high. And we have to share that limited curb space with visitors. That’s fine but we don’t need to bear this burden ourselves.
This parking zone map shows where visitors will park if they can’t park anymore on Crescent: to blocks along Charleville between Reeves and Rexford; the 100 blocks of Reeves, Canon, Crescent, and Elm; and the 300 blocks of Canon, Crescent and especially Elm. The 200 and 300 blocks of Canon are already off-limits to out-of-area drivers because the city gave them ‘no parking’ zones.
Ironically, disallowing visitor parking on Canon last year is one of the things that Crescent petitioners complain about. Yet those Crescent homeowners are asking for the very same restrictions. It will simply push that problem onto our multifamily streets.
Additional Parking Restrictions is Not the Answer
First, homeowners’ petition is a reaction to the congestion, noise, and hostility that comes with too much traffic congestion, they themselves say. But that is not a problem that parking restrictions can solve. It is a larger quality-of-life problem that begs for traffic-calming measures.
Second, if “excessive” curb parking is the problem, as petitioners say, adding a new restriction won’t address it. On Canon the parking restriction was imposed and today there is as much curb parking on the 200 and 300 blocks as there was before the restriction. No gain on the play! Owning the curb did not address the Canon homeowner complaints.
Third, those who call for more parking restrictions, including the Canon and Crescent homeowners, add to the own problem by parking at the curb when they have driveways for that purpose. In fact, every one of those 30 homeowners who signed the petition are required by law to provide off-street parking. But many have chosen to convert garages and driveways to other uses and then use the curb to park all day.
In contrast, multifamily residents without off-street parking have no recourse but to park at the curb. That goes for our visitors too. We can’t afford to share that limited space with people from out of the neighborhood who are pushed off of Canon and now Crescent only to seek curb parking on our blocks.
Fourth, the city’s parking survey finds curbside parking occupancy along the 200 block of Crescent is 30% of available spaces on average (fewer than one-third of available parking spots are taken) which is much greater availability than availability on multifamily blocks where capacity is much less.