By Terry Miller
Pasadena Parking is Such Sweet Sorrow
It has been said that Pasadena is not business friendly. Point in fact, regulations are “through the roof” according to one retailer. And that’s just to open and stay in business. Now, if you want people to come into your store….well, that’s another matter entirely. There’s not a lot of ‘free’ parking in Old Pasadena or on South Lake specifically.
But what really gets people mad is when you mess with their wheels.
To park,or not to park in Pasadena? That is the question.
Wherever you go, the enforcement brigade is out there ready to ticket you, or worse, tow your car as was reported in the story by Andre Colemean in the Pasadena Weekly recently.
“If you shop at Whole Foods Market in Pasadena, beware. A fleet of tow trucks working for the city’s newly energized parking and vehicle code enforcement bureau is just waiting for people to park illegally – even if only for a few minutes.
When that happens – completely outside the jurisdictional purview of the Police Department, which typically hears many of the complaints generated by this practice – tow trucks sit poised to swoop in, hook up cars and cart them off to a nearby tow yard.
The city Transportation Department, which is now hiking parking fees and aggressively tracking down and towing or booting cars belonging to people with five or more outstanding unpaid parking tickets, is now going after Whole Foods shoppers, many of whom say they are confused by the conflicting parking signs, one warning of being cited and towed after 3 p.m., the other saying two-hour parking is allowed until 8 p.m”. Coleman told his readers.
Going back to basics, parking is really sweet sorrow in Pasadena for many of us and even the meters can make life difficult.
You find a spot, and voila…the bloody meter is broken. MERDE! Even if the meter is broken you would probably get a ticket.
Luckily, a new law has been signed: Can you legally park at a broken parking meter or not?
Starting next year, there should be a more clear-cut answer to that question, thanks to new state legislation signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The law creates a general statewide rule letting drivers’ park at broken meters until the posted time limit expires — without ever receiving a ticket. There is a parking god, after all!
In areas where local authorities want to be able to ticket cars parked at broken meters, those rules must be visibly posted on the street.
Now, if in fact, any of this transpires is another thing. By the time the law goes into effect, a whole crop of new meters may well be in place, you know like those on South Lake that confuse the heck out of people when they don’t see ( or are unable to read) the posted position number.
The city collected a whopping $2, 071,183 in fiscal year 2011 from those quarters we put into these meters
Now for the fines: Even if you park outside the painted space you are subject to a $36.50 fine. Yep, $36.50 for not drawing within the lines. If you park in the alley behind your home…voila $42.50. Don’t even think of parking in a Bus Zone, this set you back a whopping $266.50.
In fact, the city makes a ton of money on parking tickets each year. After filing a public records request, Pasadena Independent learned that citation revenue collected in Pasadena in 2011 was $4,667,021.
Revenue from all the parking meters in the city is $2,071,183. Annual permits to park outside your own home raised $343,245 this past fiscal year.
The estimated lost citation venue is approximately $423, 000 with a cost to the city of $876,629 for the parking sevices, meter readers etc.
Meter revenue goes back to the districts while citation and annual permits go into the general fund.