It's something of a "one-two punch" that could result in millions of dollars in additional revenue for the city of L.A. But it could result in many more parking tickets for Angelenos. The mayor has already been pushing for increasing the cost of parking citations. Now he's talking about adding an additional 50 parking enforcement officers to keep watch on those expired meters.
At the L.A. Parking Violations Bureau, you're not going to find many fans of the mayor's plan to increase parking fines and add additional parking enforcement officers to city streets.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa plans to hire 50 more part-time parking enforcement officers, a move that could bring in an additional $4 million a year. And raising parking fines by $5, to $63 per expired meter, would do even more to help with the city's $240-million budget deficit.
"Our goal out there is to ensure the smooth flow of traffic throughout the city to make parking available for everybody," said Greg Savelli, the chief of parking enforcement and traffic control for the city of L.A. "The revenue is a byproduct of enforcement and it does help General Fund things such as police, fire, parks, rec, library, and so that money can be spent out of the General Fund. That's where the fine money goes."
The city has more than 500 parking enforcement officers. One hundred of them are part-timers. The additional 50 would also work on a part-time basis.
"The city's facing a fiscal crisis, and so in order to try to continue enforcement as well as take care of traffic in the city, the idea was posed that we hire part-timers to come in and try to fill the void," said Savelli.
But residents say that parking enforcement takes an unfair toll on areas where spaces are scarce and where restrictions are abundant.
The city estimates an extra $4 million would be brought in by the additional part-time enforcement officers.
Increasing fines on expired meters and on street-sweeping violations could bring in an estimated additional $40 million.
The mayor's proposals must now be approved by the Los Angeles City Council.