Parking meters in Arts District vandalized ahead of launch

Christiane Cordero Image
Sunday, December 17, 2023
Parking meters in Arts District vandalized ahead of launch
Police are working with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to investigate who vandalized parking kiosks in the Arts District.

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Along downtown Los Angeles' Arts District streets, Michelin-recognized restaurants and amenities-abundant apartment buildings have become the norm in the revitalized neighborhood, but its latest update creating buzz arrived in the form of paint on a curb.

Numbers, specifically, to identify a parking spot in need of payment.

It is an adjustment for people who live or work in the area and grew accustomed to the rare L.A. perk of free parking. Less rare is the defiance against them: Hours before the pilot program's launch, the kiosks were vandalized.

"There's spray paint on one, [another] is completely shattered," said Edgar, who lives in the Arts District. "They're spraying the numbers off. They're just not happy at all about it."

His building has parking included so uses the word "they" in loose reference to his neighbors and visitors now asked to pay. Around early December, people started noticing the numbers appearing on sidewalks.

On Friday, several of those numbers were spray painted black, unidentifiable.

The payment kiosks were on the receiving end of a baseball swing, or something similar, making it that much harder for people to pay.

Not that anyone's in a rush to.

"Here's the thing," said Ash, fidgeting with the mobile payment app while on his way to work. "I get that the city needs to make money. I'm happy to pay for parking as long as it's reasonable, but also take into consideration the infrastructure of the city. What about the people who work in the Arts District? Is there a place for us to park?"

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation told ABC7 it delayed its implementation of the pilot program because of the vandalism and until they can make repairs.

The police department is working with LADOT to investigate who vandalized the kiosks and curbs. A spokesperson added in part:

"The new parking regulations were requested by Arts District businesses, residents, and the City Council office. They were developed by LADOT to increase parking availability for residents and visitors alike, and improve access to local businesses."

Once fully implemented, the parking spaces will have a two-hour time limit.

They'll cost $1 per hour and will be enforced between 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, according to the LADOT spokesperson.