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Councilman wants to stop giving tickets at broken parking meters

July 02, 2013|By Ari Bloomekatz
  • Old coin parking meters have been replaced in Los Angeles by ones that also accept credit or debit cards.
Old coin parking meters have been replaced in Los Angeles by ones that also… (Mark Boster / Los Angeles…)

The L.A. City Council's newly minted Transportation Committee chairman used his first motion Tuesday to deride a controversial policy that allows the city to ticket motorists who park in spaces monitored by what turns out to be a broken meter.

"As a candidate, I heard a lot of people who were highly annoyed about this," said Councilman Mike Bonin. "Even if the impact is a small one, it still sends this horrible message that the city isn't on your side."

Before 2010, motorists could park at broken meters across the city without fear of reprisal. But a new policy adopted that year made it illegal for cars to park in spaces where the meter is broken.

Since then, city officials have replaced their stock of old, coin-only meters with newer models that accept credit/debit cards and coins. The new meters also send a signal if there is a malfunction so a technician can quickly come and fix it.

"Since we adopted this policy ... the city has been instituting new technology," Bonin said. "The policy isn't necessary."

Bonin wants the council to rescind the policy but how easy that will be remains unclear. Nevertheless, a bill that would end with the same result in L.A. is working its way through the state Legislature.

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Twitter: @aribloomekatz

ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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