Tuesday, March 14, 2006

5 Parking Tips for LA

So, conversation always swirls around parking challenges in L.A. In order to assist just a little, I have compiled 5 basic tips for parking in L.A. I hope they're helpful...

1. Yellow Loading Zones are open as unrestricted parking after 6pm. According to LADOT, "in the City of Los Angeles yellow curb zones are effective 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday (but not on Sunday)." This especially helpful in Hollywood off of Hollywood Boulevard (check out Orange Avenue north of the Boulevard) and in Westwood Village. Related, but not as frequent, Green Zones (15 or 20 minutes parking) are only enforced 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

2. There is only a 5 minute grace period on street cleaning days. So, if the sign says no parking 9am to 11am Tuesdays, you actually have until 9:05am and can park at 10:55am. This may be only 5 minutes of extra parking, but something is better than nothing.

3. In LA, parking enforcement is overseen by the Department of Transportation. Don't blame LAPD for parking tickets. But, since this is the case, usually, in the later evening hours, there are very few, if any, Parking inforcement officers out. For instance, in the 224 square miles of the Valley in the night shift, there are MAYBE two parking enforcement officers. This means less tickets issued, but also less help when trying to get a car removed that is blocking your driveway. Areas like Westwood Village, Hollywood Boulevard, and Ventura Boulevard have more parking enforcement officers at night, though, so be aware of that.

4. Parking meters that are broken are NOT free parking. Technically, you can get a ticket if you park in a spot with broken meter.

5. Don't be afraid to walk! Parking two blocks away for free in a residential area is not that bad if weigh the options. For example, parking around El Coyote on Beverly Boulevard is a mess unless you pay for valet parking. The areas immediately around the commercial core have no parking except by permit. [By the way, now, petitioners for permit parking have to allow at least one hour parking without a permit near commercial areas.] But, if you park two blocks north of Beverly Boulevard - no parking restrictions! The walk is nice and can burn those few extra calories so that you have their delicious Mexican Pizza.

I know I said I'd give five tips, but there's a sixth: Don't be naive: always read the signs (no matter how many there are) so that you don't get caught parking when you're not supposed to. There may be many signs at one location, but they spell out the restrictions -- so don't whine if you missed something and get a ticket.

It's true: parking in L.A. requires effort, planning and sometimes, some walking. The other option is to take public transportation. Again, weigh the options!


Anonymous said...

Hey! I'm here from metroblogging.

One other thing I learned the hard way (ie, with a ticket) is that there is no refeeding of meters. I was in Venice near the beach in a rainy day, quite early in the morning. So there were about 2 or 3 meters available. I spent more than 1 hour in one of the metered spots (by refeeding it) and got a ticket (the other spots were still open). I never seen the sentence "DON'T REFEED METERS" posted anywhere, but when you google, it's apparently a law for some states, California included.
To the day, I still wonder if I could have avoided this ticket by moving my car 15 feet away, into another metered spot in the very same block.
Thanks for all the other tips!

Weston Deboer said...

i hope not that many people read this, because the yellow loading zone is the best parkign secret.

Anonymous said...

In West Hollywood a meter maid told me a broken meter allows for free parking during the time allowed by the meter (ie. if it's a one hour meter, you can park there for one hour for free).

Miss Jessica said...

When your metered time is up, you can't repark on the same block. I'm not sure what the exact distance is that you have to repark, but you definitely cannot repark at another meter on the same block.

Zach Behrens said...

Do you have a quote or link about the Green Zone enforcement?

Anonymous said...

Hi, Miss Jessica,

I had noooooo idea. Thanks for elucidating.

LA City Nerd said...


Green Curb Zones
Green curb zones are for short-term parking and are installed at locations
such as nursery schools, child care centers, banks and convenience stores,
where the normal turnover of on-street parking does not provide the needed
degree of access to these properties. Either 15-or 30-minute parking zones
may be established for these purposes and are
effective 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through
Saturday (but not on Sunday).

Anonymous said...

gerat tips! My personal tip is to BE AWARE OF WHAT CITY YOU ARE IN. Remember that some places like West Hollywood and Beverly Hills are technically NOT Los Angeles, and can (and do) have their own parking rules. Definitely read all the signs.

bloggerbrain said...

Hey, Anyone know about White Loading Zones?

LA City Nerd said...

White loading zones are effective 24 hours a day, unless otherwise posted.

Anonymous said...

I read that when relocating a car from an expired meter (since meter cannot be refed) the distance the car must be moved is 500 feet from the original parking spot.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Male announcer: The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in a red zone.
Female announcer: The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in a red zone.
Male announcer: The red zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in a white zone.
Female announcer: No, the white zone is for loading. Now, there is no stopping in a RED zone.
Male announcer: The red zone has always been for loading.
Female announcer: Don't you tell me which zone is for loading, and which zone is for unloading.
Male announcer: Look Betty, don't start up with your white zone shit again. There's just no stopping in a white zone.
Female announcer: Oh really, Vernon? Why pretend, we both know perfectly well what this is about. You want me to have an abortion.
Male announcer: It's really the only sensible thing to do, if its done safely. Therapeutically there's no danger involved.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I can confirm white zone parking is enforced 24 hours.. I got a $30 ticket in downtown LA for parking in a white zone at 1am on a Sunday morning for 1 hour.

The sign just said "Passenger Loading Only" "5 mins". Nothing about being enforced 24 hours (if it had, I wouldn't have parked there)

But as the citynerd said, you're to assume its enforced 24 hours unless otherwise posted.

Which means "reading the signs carefully" doesn't always work.. some things you just "have to know" >8^(

I spent a good 40 minutes searching google, LADOT, DMV and the LA city parking violations bureau for "white zone" and "loading zone" restrictions.. anyone have a direct link to this stuff? Doesn't seem to be vehicle code or code of regulations..

Cybele said...

I also question #4 - I've been told by two different parking officers that you can park there without plugging the meter, but only for the time limit. (And I've never had a problem with it.)

Even though there aren't that many parking enforcement officers on duty, I've never had a problem getting them to come out late at night to ticket people who park all over my street (in front of hydrants, driveways and of course just plain illegally) within 30 minutes of my call.

Anonymous said...

Your theoretical five minute grace period for street cleaning is not true in everywhere LA, I reached my car at exactly 9:01 and a ticket had already been issued to the car parked in front of mine. I think it would be nice, as people's watches are not all exactly right, but it's probably up to the parking enforcement officer.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe someone used the words "El Coyote" and "delicious" in the same sentence, other than perhaps...

'I ate at El Coyote, the margaritas were delicious- almost good enough for me to ignore the stomachache that lasted the next 24 hours.'

Anonymous said...

I once asked a metermaid (not PC?!) about how far I would have to move my car in a timed parking zone (2 hours) and she rather bitchy said "1 mile." I somehow don't belive that.

Anonymous said...

as some people mentioned, I've always heard that a broken meter means you can park for free for the usual maximum amount.

LA Times says:
"IF YOU'RE RIPPED OFF BY YOUR...Parking Meter If you park at a broken meter in the city of Los Angeles and still get a ticket, call (877) 215-3958 to report the meter's number. If upon investigation the meter is indeed broken, your ticket will be voided. To contest an L.A. parking ticket on other grounds, go to http://www.lacity-parking.org/laopm/contest.htm for instructions"

Anonymous said...

where can i find information on parking in beverly hills, brentwood and westwood?

Anonymous said...

Does the loading zone hours count for the signs too or just the yellow curb?

Anonymous said...

I just got a ticket in Silverlake for parking in a white zone outside of a church from 9:30-11PM. There was no signage at all, just a white curb. Is it worth fighting? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

The last person you should ask about parking enforcement, atleast in Los Angeles, are the parking officers. I seriously doubt they really know anything except the fact they have great job security and it's virtually impossible to fire them if they screw-up because of their union. That's one of the reasons they sometimes pass out tickets for no justifiable reason like they're Christmas candy.


Anonymous said...

Forget about to fighting a ticket. You will almost always loose.

Anonymous said...

You can't park in Beverly Hills overnight without a permit. Period. (as far as I know - found out the hard way while dating somone there).

A friend at work said he got out of 2 tickets by writing a letter w/ photos attached.

I stopped on a residential street, popped my trunk from inside while a friend who was waiting there threw some backs in, then got inside - less than 1 minute and I never left the drivers seat. A "parking person"flashed her lights and seemingly started writing "something". But what?? I was just picking up my friend waiting on the sidewalk outside his apt. Well, I got a ticket in the mail for :Double Parking"!! Any advice?

Anonymous said...

Good tips all....I've also heard that if you pull up to a meter and there is still time left on it from the previous occupant, you must add additional money. A friend told me that he actually got a ticket for this, but I think you'd have to be very unlucky to have an enforcement officer in the area to actually witness this. Just a thought....

Anonymous said...

The white and green curb info seems to be outdated. Here is my source:


These are docs from effective from 2006.

Green - 15 min max, any day of week
White - 3 min max, any day of week
Yellow - enforced 7am - 6pm M - Sat. So can park after 6pm, and all day Sun


No person shall stop any vehicle at any time adjacent to a curb marked in red.

No person shall park any vehicle adjacent to any curb marked in green for any period in excess of the time indicated, and in no case in excess of 15 minutes.

No person shall stop, stand or park a vehicle between the hours of 7:00 o’clock A.M. and 6:00 P.M. on any day except Sunday in a commercial loading zone indicated by yellow curb except that commercial vehicles may stop or stand for the purpose of loading or unloading freight for the time necessary therefor, but not to exceed 20 minutes. Passenger vehicles may stop or stand for the purpose of loading or unloading passengers and their personal baggage and then only for the time necessary therefor, but in no event for more than three minutes.

No person shall park any vehicle other than a private passenger automobile adjacent to any white curb and shall not park such vehicle for any greater period of time than is actually necessary for the loading or unloading of passengers or personal baggage, and in no event for a longer period than 3 minutes. This section shall not apply to busses. (Added by Ord. No. 127,959, Eff. 8/28/64.)

LA City Nerd said...

I don't disagree with the above comment from SOULMAN about hte white, yellow, or red curbs. THat's what we've said.

I still believe the green curb is not a 24/7 enforcement zone, though, and continue to park there for extended periods of time after the stated hours.

Anonymous said...

YOU CAN definitley park at a 'failed' meter for the alloted time. I have gotten a ticket reversed with that arguement and I do it weekly if not daily.

Anonymous said...

I got a ticket for parking in front of a BLOCKED driveway that is NOT IN USE. In fact, it is blocked by posts and chains. Anyone know where online I can find a law regarding that? I want to fight my ticket and would like to use the law if possible. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I parked near the park next to Rodeo drive. It's on Park Way by the curb in front of a house. The sign said it's 1 hour parking zone. I didn't block anyone and parked within the time limit. The time stamp shows the ticket was a few mins after I left my car. Here is the comment: with a comment "25% in red zone + vehicle left unattended + per complaint". I guess the resident complained to the officer after I left but my car was in- between the two red-zones (i.e no color and it's legal, so it's not in the red zone), and I parked in legal 1 hour spot. Should I fight and what I should say in the Admin Review Request form?

Anonymous said...

as per my previous post (parking near rodeo drive (near the corner of rodeo and santa monica blvd),

to fight a ticket, would it help if I take pictures of the surrounding and the sign.

Nick said...

To the person cited in front of a driveway, it does not technically matter if the driveway is closed or not. The driveway block violation is a state Vehicle Code violation, not a city code violation:

22500(e). No person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle whether attended or unattended...in front of a public or private driveway, except that a bus engaged as a common carrier, schoolbus, or a taxicab may stop to load or unload passengers when authorized by local authorities pursuant to an ordinance.

Anonymous said...

regarding that CYBELE lady, what a bitch! So she apparently spends her evenings with nothing better to do, than to call ticket ladies and report ppl on her street. What a loser................

Poisonanne said...

Can anyone give me clarity on the three fold signage on Los Feliz? The top part says 'Anti Gridlock Area'
the middle "No parking from 7-9AM'
the bottom "No stopping anytime."
So you can stop on crazy busy L.F.?
How could that be? What do they mean by 'stop?'

Unknown said...

Today I was dropping someone off at LAX. After circling once around the airport my friend felt ill so I stopped my car at a red curb and let her out. My car never went to park. My foot still on the break an office was already writing me a citation and asking me for my CALIFORNIA drivers licence. Since Im visiting from Hawaii he issued me a ticket and cirlce that I had a CAL. I dont underdstand how I can be required to pay $70 for pulling over to let someone out of the car. If she was about to vomit was I to tell her, NO, WAIT. I must search for a parking spot or green curb.
Very confused.

Anonymous said...

an LA gal who just got a ticket in Santa Barbara has a question - anyone heard of getting fined for parking in a yellow zone on a legal holiday? i want to fight it, but i can't find any documentation!