New parking fees at the Getty Research Institute in Brentwood have prompted an online petition to protest the change. The petition claims that the new fees are a financial burden to academic researchers, many of whom rely on the GRI for their work.
Starting July 30, the GRI will start charging library readers for parking. The cost will be $15 per visit. The Getty is also selling parking passes, ranging from $50 to $275, that allow for various levels of unlimited parking.
Ron Hartwig, the Getty's chief spokesman, said in an interview that the decision was "difficult to reach." He said the Getty relies on its endowment for income and that in light of the weak economy, the new parking fees are necessary to raise additional revenue.
The online petition states that "for students and researchers already living on very limited funds — many at only a couple thousand dollars above poverty level — these fees constitute a substantial expense."