Real all about it here. I wish I could say it was only in LA, but this "free parking" disease is striking everywhere.
Can you believe it — Hizzonner has mandated that during the election next week (the school board election that no one will vote in) parking around polling places will be free. That’s right, no charge at meters within a block of the polls.
Sigh — the only thing that will happen is that the folks who staff the polling places will park closest (because they arrive first) and take all the free spots. That will be it. Folks living in the area will get a free day of parking, and that will end the program.
I cannot for the life of me figure out how paying to park keeps people from voting. Lets see — it costs 20 grand for the car (ok 15), two buck for the gas, a buck for upkeep and oil, a buck for insurance, and I’m not going to pony up the half a buck to park, assuming that it really cost anything to park anyway. The fact is that most polling places are in schools and churches in residential neighborhoods that don’t charge for parking anyway (although they should, and that’s another story.)
I noticed that the city clerks election division is behind this — my guess at the behest of poll workers. They worked out the program, probably after spending months in meetings and discussions. But I bet there wasn’t one person from the parking enforcement division of the department of transportation present at the meetings. You know, the folks on the ground that fight the parking wars every day.
Perhaps if the people running for election to the school board were to forge a campaign in any relationship to the power they wield or the importance of the decisions they make, folks would turn out to vote. Free parking ain’t going to cut it.
Sorry Mr Villaraigosa, you got caught up in another political error. You should be spending your time collecting the 10% tax that a number of the local parking operators aren’t paying.