Los Angeles Street-Selling Scam

This has nothing to do with Rosemead, but it's this scheme that's been going down in Los Angeles. Villaraigosa and the City are planning to sell street parking rights to a private company.

At least that's what Walter Moore is claiming on the interesting BudgetLA site.

According to him, City revenues are down nearly 3% -- that is, they aren't down much at all. But, there's a general economic crisis going on, so the City claims there's a severe deficit, they've laid over 3,000 people off, and threatening to lay off another 1,000. (But, they aren't all layoffs - many are interdepartmental transfers, but this is a peripheral issue.)

Then, they are pushing for the sale of public parking to a private company. The parking prices will rise. That's what they did in Chicago to raise money.

Anyway, I tried to research this more, but it's tough.

There is some corroborating evidence, though. I've parked in LA a few times without paying the meters. There are broken meters all over the City. That might be why they're short on money.

Yep. Last time I was in LA

Yep. Last time I was in LA looking for parking, the whole row of meters on the street I was on were all on "FAILURE." That's lost revenue. Modernizing the meters so they are no so easily jammed could bring in a lot of revenue.

LA = Stupid

When they "upgraded" to the current meters, it was pretty well-known that the electronic coin detectors could be jammed.

The new credit card meters seem to work better. The main problem I see is that there's one payment kiosk for every 4 meters. If the kiosk breaks, all 4 spaces are uncharged.

What they should do is some kind of RFID system where the city sells some parking debit cards. Sell them at retail stores or whatever. You load them with money first. If the meter works, pay at the meter by holding your card to the meter.

If the meter's broken, put the card up on your window (need some tape or a holder). If parking enforcement comes around, they read your card and deduct a minimum amount of money (like 25 cents).

They could use the MTA TAP card, if they want, but a generic, anonymous debit card would work as well.