Why is the state involved in this, anyway?


Why is the state involved in this, anyway?

Here’s the deal — A new law has come into effect in California prohibiting cities from issuing citations at broken parking meters, UNLESS the city has passed an ordinance allowing them to do so. Here’s the abstract:

Existing law prohibits a local authority from establishing parking meter zones and fixing the rate or fees for those zones, except by ordinance. Existing law further authorizes a local authority to, by ordinance, cause streets and highways to be marked with white lines designating parking spaces and require vehicles to park within the parking spaces.
This bill would authorize a local authority to fix a variable rate of fees for those zones, based upon criteria identified by the local authority in the ordinance, and would authorize a local authority to accept payment of parking meter fees by a mobile device. The bill also would authorize a local authority to adopt an ordinance or resolution prohibiting or restricting the parking of a vehicle at an inoperable parking meter or inoperable parking payment center, as defined. The bill would authorize parking at an inoperable parking meter for up to the posted time limit if no ordinance or resolution has been adopted to prohibit it.
So, the wizards in Sacramento have decreed that to fine a person for parking at a broken meter, the city must first pass an ordinance making that illegal. Am I missing something here?  Don’t cities do that as a matter of course? Why is the state involved in parking codes in cities?
Maybe I’m nitpicking, but doesn’t the state legislature have more to do than deal with something like this?  Can someone explain it to me?
PS — Isn’t one of the purposes of a “Parking payment center” or Pay on foot/display machine to solve this exact problem. If a machine is down, isn’t it incumbent on the parker to find another nearby?  Sigh.
Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

One Response

  1. I think one of the provisions of the State law was to require municipalities to notify drivers that they will be fined should they park at a broken meter; assuming that is the case in their jurisdiction. I am sure that you have seen the red stickers on LA meters that notify drivers that they risk getting a ticket if they park without paying? That may have been the example for the law.

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