June 18, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Innovative parking signs could curb Los Angeles confusion

Simplified graphic parking signs will be trialed for six months, and could be introduced across L.A.
Simplified graphic parking signs will be trialed for six months, and could be introduced across L.A.

Motorists on the Westside are faced with a myriad of often baffling parking signs on a daily basis. A pilot program being launched today is set to revolutionize the parking-sign world, testing a whole new approach to displaying parking information in an effort to make curbside stops less cumbersome.

Beginning with a trial in downtown Los Angeles, the new signs are a product of the Los Angeles Department of Transport (LADOT) and LA City Councilmembers Paul Krekorian (District 2) and Mike Bonin (District 11).

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is scheduled to announce the trial program this morning, Friday, April 3. The new graphic signs will be posted in downtowm L.A. between Spring Street and Main and from 2nd and 9th streets, for a sixth month pilot project.

The area was selected due to the complexity of parking signs near City Hall and so LADOT staff can closely monitor it, according to Councilmember Bonin.

“If it goes well, expect to see simplified graphic signs on the Westside soon,” Bonin said.

The issue of parking sign confusion is commonplace across the Westside, with all cities profiting on catching motorists out.

“I never know if I can park or not,” said Brentwood resident Kate Walker. “I think that I have read all of the signs right, but then I get a ticket. It’s so unclear.”

The new graphic signs hope to combat the situation by offering a bar graph format that pictorially summarizes parking restrictions.

“All too often, Angelenos are stymied by a baffling array of parking signs that leave them feeling unclear on whether or not they can park safely or risk getting their car towed,” said Bonin, who chairs LA City Council’s Transportation Committee and seconded a motion by colleague Kerkorian to test the new signs.

Phase One of the pilot program will pictorially summarize existing parking restrictions on Spring and Main Streets in Downtown LA. Approximately 100 new pictorial parking signs will be installed.

The program objective is to revolutionize the parking experience in the City of Los Angeles by creating new, clear and innovative parking signs that make it easy for the public to understand, according to LADOT.

“These new parking signs will be easier to read and our intent is to decrease parking citations due to misunderstandings of a posted sign,” LADOT stated.

Six months allows time for users to become familiar with the signage and for LADOT to solicit comments, gather and analyze data on parking meter revenue and citations, the department explained.

Phase Two will involve the creation and installation of signs that will replace existing parking signage, as opposed to Phase One, which is a supplement to existing signage.

If successful, the signage could change parking signs across the nation, according to LADOT.

“With greater understanding of parking restrictions, the hope is the public parking experience will improve, yielding a decrease in parking citations and an increase in meter revenue,” LADOT stated.

The final pilot location has not yet been determined; however, candidate locations include downtown LA and Hollywood since they have the most complex parking restrictions in the city, according to LADOT.

If the pilot is successful and depending on the exact signage approved, LADOT’s plan is to either replace all parking signs in Los Angeles to the new style or establish a threshold of three or four parking signs on one post for replacement.

Funding for the pilot program has been allocated from LA City’s Innovation Fund, which will allow LADOT to finalize parking sign concepts and potentially incorporate technology such a number to text, or displaying a red/green light to let motorists know whether or not they can park there.

The funding will also be used for design, labor, materials, public education, and required studies to comply with the California Traffic Control Devices Committee (CTCDC).

The initial six-month Phase One trial is budgeted at $6,500. Phase Two is budgeted to cost $60,000.

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