Can I Park At A Broken Meter???
Can I park at a broker meter… yes, that just may be one of life’s greatest questions. Okay so I’m exaggerating. But I have no doubt that you have spent at least a few minutes wondering whether you should take that spot with the plastic bag wrapped around the meter. I remember the good old days in Westwood when UCLA students would break parking meters using paper clips and pennies to avoid paying costly parking fees just so they could attend class (or hang out at Coffee Bean). However, it wasn’t long before the city caught on, and parking enforcement began handing out tickets for parking at broken meters. Today, Downtown Los Angeles (especially in the fabric district) is yet another place where the plastic bag over the meter is in full effect. Of course, when you ask anyone around whether you can park there, they always shrug their shoulders and say “I don’t know… ask the meter maid.” But come on, who wants to speak to, let alone trust, a meter maid of all people???
Well, according to the Auto Club, California’s 58 counties and 480 cities each have their own policies regarding parking meters. In a recent article in Westways, they state that “Long Beach, Ventura, Pasadena, and Newport Beach, for example, prohibit parking at broken meters. Santa Barbara allows it, but for a maximum of 45 minutes. Los Angeles and San Diego allow it- except at the new meters that accept both coins and credit cards.” Of course, given the local enforcement agencies’ failure to post clear rules regarding broken meters on meters themselves (I wonder why… perhaps to torture us even further and to also randomly give out tickets??), it’s best to call up parking enforcement, let them know it’s broken, and say that you are going to park there. Oh yes, and don’t forget to curse at them after you hang up.