Although the State of California recently passed a law allowing people to park free at broken meters up to the allowable time, the LA City Council voted 12-1 to maintain the city’s 2 year old policy of ticketing cars at broken meters. The City is said to have made $5 million a year from broken-meter tickets, so you can see why City Council doesn’t want to stop that flow of income into the public coffers.
The number of broken meters has decreased tremendously since new automated, credit-card accepting meters have been installed. When you do run across a dead meter and have the inclination to park anyway and slip a plastic bag over the dead meter – be forewarned – it’s not worth the hefty ticket on your windshield. The good news is that when a new-style meter becomes inoperable, it automatically messages transportation employees of the problem and is typically put back into service within three hours, officials told the LA Times.
The new automated meters also make it almost impossible to rely on a bit of grace time if you don’t get back to your car when you believe your paid time is up. When a meter expires, it automatically alerts the hand-held device of the meter reader in the area, and he/she scoots over to your car to write a ticket before you get back. Shoppers and diners along Larchmont Blvd are keenly aware that it’s hard to beat the system, and many set their smartphones to alert them when a meter’s about to expire.
What about parking at curbs painted in the holiday colors of red and green, or yellow or white for that matter? Here’s your quick guide, summarized from the LA Dept of Transportation (DOT):
Red Curb Zones: No parking, stopping or standing in a red zone, 24/7. Red zones are set up to ease traffic flow.
White Curb Zones: You may park for up to 5 minutes to unload or load passengers, or for a mailbox deposit, 24/7.
Yellow Curb Zones: You may park for up to 30 minutes for loading/unloading, from 7am – 6pm Mon-Sat. Parking is permitted here for free during non-restricted times: Sundays and 6 pm- 7am unless posted otherwise. CORRECTION: Thanks to a careful reader of DOT guidelines, it appears that 30 minutes is allowed for freight loading, but passenger cars are only allowed a 5 minute loading/unloading.
Green Curb Zones: Either 15 or 30 minute parking allowed Mon-Sat 8am-6pm, so again, during non-restricted hours all day Sunday and daily after 6 pm you may park free at a green curb.
Blue Curb Zones: No parking or stopping unless displaying a disability placard.