LOS ANGELES — A City Council member has called for improvements to the way residents are alerted to temporary no-parking zones in their neighborhood.
Councilman David Ryu introduced a motion May 1 that would expand the noticing period from 24 hours to 48 hours along with other changes, and comes about a week after the Los Angeles Times reported on a woman’s successful two-year effort to overturn a parking ticket she received in Hollywood, which began with improperly posted temporary no-parking signs.
Lisa Soremekun, who goes by her stage name Kai, spent countless hours and went through numerous legal proceedings before ultimately proving that her car was wrongly ticketed and towed.
“As we seek to repair hundreds of miles of broken streets in Los Angeles, we need to make sure that the way we prepare and inform impacted residents is fair,” Ryu said. “The cost of retrieving an impounded vehicle is simply too high for us to ignore a flawed sign-posting process.
“In my district, Kai Soremekun spent two years fighting a parking ticket she never should have received. Countless others in my district and across the city have been caught up in the same problem. We need to do better.”
The city’s current process to warn residents of temporary no-parking zones involves crews tying paper signs held up with metal wire to trees or existing sign posts. The signs are to be installed at least 24 hours before they begin a street reconstruction project. Between the first and second phase of work, crews turn around the signs to signal to residents that street parking is permitted.
The policy calls for at least 24 hours to pass before crews turn the signs back around again and return to complete the second phase.
Last week, The Times told the story of Soremekun, who insisted her car was towed without the proper notice. The story also highlighted that the temporary signs are easily tampered with.
“The two years I spent fighting this traffic ticket should never have happened, and wouldn’t have if the city gave proper ‘no parking’ notice,” Soremekun said. “I always hoped that, at the very least, my efforts would show to the city how flawed and unfair their system was. I’m grateful to Councilmember Ryu, not only for his help in my case, but in going one step further to ensure this doesn’t happen to anyone else again.”
Ryu’s motion instructs the Bureau of Street Services to report to the City Council with methods for improving their temporary no-parking notification process, including text and email notification for those who sign up through 3-1-1.
The motion also seeks options for expanding the noticing period from 24 hours to 48 hours and options for the city to reimburse towing fees to residents when cars are impounded resulting from a parking ticket that is later overturned.