Merchants will no longer be exempt from a recently enacted parking restriction on Artesia Boulevard as a result of City Council action last week.
In January, the council unanimously adopted a resolution that created a no-stopping zone between 6 and 9 a.m. on Artesia between Hawthorne and Aviation boulevards. Merchants could get permits exempting them from the restriction.
Although the resolution says the restriction is intended to enhance traffic flow, the council's discussion indicated that its main goal is to discourage day laborers from congregating in the area by making it illegal for potential employers to stop and pick them up.
In light of a recent lawsuit that challenges the parking restriction as discriminating against the day laborers, City Atty. Gordon Phillips advised the council on Tuesday night that "the granting of permits to merchants along Artesia Boulevard would be counterproductive to the attempt to enhance traffic flow."
The lawyer for the resident who filed the suit had contended that the merchant exemptions illustrated the city's real motive in banning parking.