Runyon Canyon hikers start petition to reopen popular parking lot amid daily car ticketing, towing

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Runyon Canyon Park welcomes you, but the parking lot does not. Regular hikers have started a petition to reopen one parking lot that has been closed since the start of the pandemic.

The popular hiking spot had been closed down in the name of COVID-19, but while the trail has reopened, the Mulholland entrance parking lot is still shut down.

"Obviously with COVID, when it hit, everyone needed more access to being outside, not less," said North Hollywood Resident Anna Stern. "And so to make it more restrictive was not fair."

Stern and her husband hike Runyon Canyon because it is dog friendly.

However, parking there is quite the opposite. Stern called it "dangerous disaster." Cars are routinely ticketed and towed.

"So there's a ticket and there's a fee for the towing," Jamarr Johnson explained. "So you end up spending $400, almost $500 just to get your vehicle back."

"We started a petition, and if we stand up here and ask people to sign it, people are more than happy to sign it," Stern said. "We know that hundreds if not thousands of people want this lot reopened."

The petition has received more than 300 signatures so far.

Runyon Canyon is one of the most popular hikes in Los Angeles, seeing thousands of visitors hit the trail each weekend. And with limited street parking, park goers want answers from the city as to why public parking is being denied.

Jamarr Johnson chooses to walk six miles from his home to Runyon Canyon each day, and he has a theory.

"My personal opinion, I think its up as part of the city's scheme to continue making money towing peoples cars on a regular basis," he said.

Eyewitness News reached out to 4th District Councilwoman Nithya Raman and the City of Los Angeles Parks and Recreation, but have not heard back.

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