The Grass Is Not Always Greener

The city of Los Angeles is known for its busy streets and limited parking. Some residents, noticing the lack of spaces for their cars, took it upon themselves to instead park in parkways, which are small strips of land that sit between the sidewalk and the street. While Los Angeles officials has turned a blind eye to it for quite some time, they are beginning to crack down on the parking practice and issue tickets to cars parked in the parkways. The Los Angeles Times says that "The practice has destroyed grass, plantings and curbs in dense, central neighborhoods such as Westlake, East Hollywood and Koreatown".

Since 2011, the city has suspended the policy after being sued numerous times for allegedly violating the Americans With Disabilities Act. Many residents at the time were parking on the apron, which is the sloping portion of a driveway between the sidewalk and the curb. According to at least one lawsuit, this was a serious violation of accessibility laws. In response, parking officials began a slew of ticketing, to the point where residents parking in their own driveways were receiving tickets. After much backlash, parkway parking enforcement was heavily scaled back.

Although this leniency was never really advertised, people eventually began to park on parkways. The inaction of city officials led exasperated residents to take measures into their own hands. Some of them went so far as to set up posts or plant trees in order to discourage other drivers from parking in these spaces. Despite their efforts, many of these safeguards were knocked down.

The new policy, however, allows the city to ticket drivers for parking on parkways. It also resolves the apron parking issue by allowing drivers to park on the apron, as long as their cars do not block the street or sidewalk. City officials have asked UCLA to issue a notice to students through their orientation packets, and parking officers have begun placing warning flyers under windshields in order to spread the word on the new policy.

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