Blocking Driveways to Find more Parking Space.
From the LA Times:
In some heavily populated neighborhoods of Los Angeles, a reliable parking space is as valuable as a panoramic view or gourmet kitchen. And with every new development, the parking crunch seems to only get worse. Now, L.A. is about to try a radical solution.
Officials this week took a first step in allowing residents to park in front of their driveways. The idea would be to allow residents with multiple vehicles to park one car in the driveway and another on the street in front of the driveway.
I have some issues with this plan.
First of all – If there is a driveway, it probably connects to a garage. I would bet that you couldn’t find a case where more parking was needed and there was space to park any cars in the garage.
I am thinking of my neighborhood – Frankly out of 50 houses in the area, I can think of only five where people actually use their garages for parking (Me being one). They are used for storage, extra rooms, bedrooms, auto repair, or in one case, a screening room complete with flat screen TV. Before we start creating extra space on the street, shouldn’t we first ensure that people are using the city mandated garages that currently exist?
Second – enforcement. I guess we can set up a bureaucracy and issue permits to people to park in front of their own driveway. The Hangtags would have to have the address on it. The enforcement staff would then have to get out of their cars and compare the hangtag address with the house address. Are they really going to do that?
Third – policy. I can see neighborhoods getting into trench warfare over who parked in front of whose driveway. I would be madder than hell if Salim, my next door neighbor, parked his Rav 4 in my driveway and then left for the 1000 Islands and I couldn’t get my car out? Right now, everyone knows that you don’t park in front of driveways, period. When this goes in, who knows what – you have heard of mission creep, what about parking policy creep.
Solve the onstreet parking problem the old fashioned way. Charge for parking, including residential parking. The free market will come up with a solution – including structures, renting spaces in driveways, taking the bus, or whatever. It is not the responsibility of the city to provide parking for the cars people elect to buy. If they buy a car, they should have a proper place to park it, and pay for that space.