LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — City leaders sounded off Wednesday in reaction to a story in which CBS2 investigative reporter David Goldstein exposed that parking enforcers were issuing bogus parking tickets throughout LA County.
In the story, which aired Tuesday night, Goldstein approached parking officers who were issuing parking tickets to vehicles parked in designated “relaxed parking” zones — or areas that are supposed to be immune to parking tickets issued due to street cleaning.
Relaxed parking zones are designated when a previously scheduled street sweeper is cancelled for that street at any given time.
The city, including Mayor Eric Garcetti, has started the process of figuring out just how many tickets were issued to LA motorists in error. The number could be hundreds or thousands.
“I was pissed. That was unacceptable,” Mayor Garcetti said of the tickets.
Safety Streets LA’s Jay Beeber, who is also a candidate for city council, stated that Goldstein’s report exposed a flawed system, in which he says the city simply doesn’t care who gets ticketed.
“If Nordstrom did this to their customers, they wouldn’t be in business for maybe two days,” Beeber said.
The relaxed parking routes were set up and shared with residents on this city website in order to alert motorists as to when the street sweepers weren’t coming.
The Department of Transportation, however, says that, in some cases, they were not notified as to the cancellations, and their officers didn’t know not to issue tickets in that area, until Goldstein approached them on the issue.
“You made us aware of a flaw in the system, and we’re more than willing to look at these flaws and try to fix them,” DOT Chief Greg Savelli said.
Mayor Garcetti, meanwhile, shot down Savelli’s answer, and was more upset over the situation.
“No, this isn’t a flaw in the system,” Mayor Garcetti said. “This was a mistake that was made, and people have to own that mistake.”
DOT’s Bruce Gillman says that those who were issued parking tickets unjustly will receive a refund in the form of a check in the mail.
There are more than 600,000 to examine for the past year.
Click here to see if you’re eligible and for information on contesting your ticket.
Click here to find a list of today’s relaxed parking enforcement routes.