Although I am the first one to trumpet the absurdity of parking ticket prices and excessive ticketing in LA, I’m not sure this protest hits the mark. I can understand the desire to equate the nearly $300 million the city brings in for parking tickets with the reported $300 million they dish out to Wall Street in annual fees, but I feel this attempted correlation is week at best.
Instead of trying to create a connection between parking tickets and some sort of tangential Wall Street issue, why not focus on creating pressure to pas legislation to at the very least make the city spend the money they collect from parking violations on our roads, sidewalks, and parking facilities. Currently, the city dumps these funds into the general fund where they go towards numerous non-parking related issues. This type of common sense connection of the source of funds with their related issues is the type of thing people can rally behind.
The fact that parking ticket reform is nearly universally supported here in LA doesn’t mean we should try and connect it with some sort of larger economic issue. I support organizations like the Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative that outlines caps on parking tickets, separating parking ticket funds from the general fund, the creation of neighborhood liaisons, and an improved ticketing review process as their primary focus.
This is an organization with a primary focus on parking issues in Los Angeles. It is a mistake to try and tie LA ticketing with larger Wall Street backlash. Let this issue stand on its’ own. It is when we start grouping dissimilar issues that we diminish our ability as a community to accomplish even the most obvious and necessary reforms.