SAN PEDRO (CBSLA.com) — Free parking for tourists and residents alike is coming to one Los Angeles neighborhood.
KNX 1070’s John Brooks reports 645 total parking meters will be removed from streets around the port of Los Angeles in San Pedro and Wilmington.
Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino joined several local business leaders to remove the heads of under-used meters on Fifth Street.
Buscaino, who introduced the plan to eliminate the meters, reduce rates, and provide free parking in city-owned lots, said the move is all about making businesses more competitive.
“We’re surrounded by more business-friendly cities; Long Beach offers free parking,” said Buscaino. “We’re saying, ‘Let’s offer free parking, and it’s gonna cost the city one-tenth of one percent’.”
That estimate means the city would lose about $50,000 annually from the approximately $50 million in revenue collected from parking meters every year.
The City Council voted unanimously Aug. 1 to approve Buscaino’s proposal, which would also upgrade remaining meters to newer models that accept credit cards.
In an effort to balance the budget, lawmakers have voted to increase parking meters fines and fees six times since 2005.
Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) staff are expected to finish removing all 645 meters by the end of the week.