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Space: A Guide to L.A.'s Final Frontier

June 15, 2003|LESLEE KOMAIKO

Jacques Mueller was living in Orange County a couple of years ago, working in real estate development. His brother, Luc Adler, had settled in Los Angeles and was selling radio and TV time to advertisers. Every few weeks, Mueller would come up for a visit. "I would [spend] two hours in traffic," he recalls. "I'd pick Luc up, we'd want to go places, and I'd end up getting frustrated with the parking situation."

Thus inspired, the brothers created a guide to off-street parking in Los Angeles. The nearly yearlong research focused on "the most frequented districts that have a significant or notable parking problem, or places where there are good opportunities to save money," Mueller says.

The result, the 284-page, spiral-bound "Los Angeles Parking Guide" (BoundBooks, $14.95), is a sort of Zagat for the parking challenged--a category that covers pretty much everyone who's ever gotten behind the wheel in this town. It lists prices and hours for hundreds of lots, with information on whether they are indoors or outdoors, offer valet parking or accept validations. Below, a few stats.

Number of lots included: 464.

Number with electric vehicle charging stations: 11.

Best parking deals: Beverly Hills, thanks to free parking deals in municipal lots

Highest concentration of lots: Downtown's Historic Core between Grand Avenue and Main Street.

Highest median parking price: The Downtown Business District, between the 110 Freeway and Hill Street, where several lots charge a daily maximum of $25 plus.

Most expensive lot listed: Downtown wins again, and it's a tie. The daily maximum is $30 at the Ampco System Parking lot on Flower Street between 4th and 5th streets and the Central Parking System lot on Olive Street between General Thaddeus Kosciusko Way and 4th Street.

Biggest price fluctuations: Venice Beach ("It's almost rates by the weather," Mueller says) and South Park near Staples Center (a whole different ballgame on event days).

Best after-dark deal on the Sunset Strip: The AAA lot on West Sunset Boulevard between North Wetherly Drive and Hammond Street charges $5 after 5 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, $7 after 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Of 41 Beverly Hills lots listed, 18 offer valet parking.

Of 35 Pasadena lots listed, 6 offer valet parking.

Lowest clearance: 6 feet even at two lots in the Downtown Business District, one lot in Chinatown, and one in Venice. ("Large SUVs need not attempt an entry unless they want a haircut!" Mueller says.)

Parking nirvana: Glendale and Burbank, omitted altogether "because they did a great job of providing a lot of parking, and it's free!"


The "Los Angeles Parking Guide" is available at or at the bookstores Book Soup in West Hollywood and Skylight Books in Los Angeles.

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