I love LA. I really do. I love it so much that I help support Los Angeles by way of substantial parking tickets, about once every month. That’s pretty much what parking in LA is all about–lots of tickets, no matter how careful you are.
The first time…
The first parking ticket I ever got here was about two months after I moved from Michigan to California. I got the ticket while I was parked right in front of my apartment building. Why? Because I left it there overnight on a Tuesday, which was apparently the day that my street was cleaned.
I cursed as I approached my car and saw the envelope under my wiper blade. ‘Lesson learned’, I thought. I vowed to myself to never leave the car out overnight again and resigned myself to paying the damn ticket immediately. As I opened the envelope in my elevator, I had to hold onto the railing as my knees slightly gave way when I saw the amount–$68. For parking. Right in front of my own damn home. I believe I remember parking tickets to cost roughly 5 bucks back in Michigan.
I got another ticket in the same spot eight months later. Some lessons are just hard to learn the first time around.
Another parking ticket that I was incensed about was one I got in Beverly Hills while getting a facial. I had a one-day invitation sent out to me from a ritzy boutique on Rodeo Drive for a facial which was going to cost me only a fraction of what something like that costs on Rodeo Drive. But, with the ticket, the facial ended up costing me an arm and a leg. What was I so incensed about? I was running with my credit card in hand to put more money in the meter before the parking popo even started writing the ticket but he didn’t care… he wrote the ticket anyway.
So many more times after that…
The problem I have with these parking tickets is 1) they are so exorbitant!!!!! and 2) I seem to get slapped with a ticket regardless of how hard I try not to. In absolutely every case, I’ve checked for signs and tried to do the right thing. Who wants to shell out all that money and not get anything in return anyway?
Still, each time I’ve gotten a ticket, it was because the meter seemed to not be working properly or the sign was obstructed by branches or was simply missing altogether or, if it was there and visible, it was vague as all hell.
Signage for which I’ve been slapped with a ticket:
- One sign in Beverly Hills said that parking was allowed for only 2 hours, from 6 to 8. I parked after 8 and got a ticket because, even though the sign made absolutely no mention of it, parking after 8 was apparently prohibited altogether.
- One sign in West Hollywood forbid parking and the wording was clear that it was forbidden; however, the sign was slightly turned to the wrong direction and therefore was not marking the right spot.
- One sign at UCLA was simply a silver plaque with nothing written on it. (I did contest that one and my parking ticket was reduced to an $11 parking fee instead).
- And, my latest—a sign in Westwood Village which stated that parking was not allowed for longer than 2 hours. This sign was completely obstructed by tree branches. I’m currently contesting that one too.
I tell ya, the way we stay afloat here is through parking tickets. The whole state of California… you know how you hear in the news that we’re not doing so well economically? Well I haven’t seen any evidence of this. And, I’ve convinced myself that it’s because of the parking tickets.
I’d like to please stop contributing for a while…
I’m meeting some friends at the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel this weekend. Wish me luck.