Parking at broken meters in Los Angeles will get you a ticket


The Los Angeles City Council voted to uphold a ban on parking at broken meters.

People in Los Angeles may love their cars, but they certainly don't like parking them. Finding a spot is never a sure thing downtown.

Parking meters end up being a common choice, but using broken ones has been cause for a ticket over the past two years. A new state law designed to cut back on tickets issued at inoperable meters gave hope to area motorists. Under the state law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, drivers can park for free at broken meters without being ticketed starting Jan. 1, 2013.

That was until the Los Angeles City Council reaffirmed its 2-year-old policy of ticketing those who park at busted meters, trumping the state law.

"These meters are very important to help provide more parking, turnover parking, as well as general fund revenue," said Councilman Tom LaBonge.

LaBonge, who was one of 12 council members to vote in favor of ticketing, is a big fan of the new electronic meters that take both coins and credit cards.

He says the city's ticketing policy cuts down on people purposely breaking meters so they can park for free.

"People do throw in, I don't know what they throw in, but they throw it in, it trips it and then they say they park for free," said LaBonge.

But many of those who pay the meters say the city is just looking to wring more money out of them.

"This city is so poorly run and so broke that it's an absolutely ridiculous law, but that's why they do it, they want to squeeze us for every last dime they can," said Rich Enderlin of Pasadena.

But if you'd rather park in a private lot, Parking Concepts Incorported is promoting its smartphone app that promises to streamline the process.

Drivers can use it to find open spots and pay for them online with a QuickPay account.

"The transaction is even faster than the old fashioned exchange of cash, have to go get change, you're in and out in a matter of seconds," said Paul Gnasso, vice president of Parking Concepts, Inc.

The parking app costs an extra 35 cents for every transaction.

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