Pilot program gives portion of meter funds to neighborhoods.
By Sam Catanzaro
While nobody enjoys paying for parking, for Westwood Village and Pacific Palisades residents, the prospect of dishing out a few coins to feed into meters will soon be more appealing.
Under a program recently approved by the City of Los Angeles, certain neighborhoods, including Westwood Village and Pacific Palisades, will be given back a portion of funds collected from parking meters.
“Our effort to improve how parking is managed in Los Angeles is moving forward, and the latest development will mean more money for transportation improvements,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin.
Los Angeles recently approved a pilot program that is designed to keep the money spent at parking meters in the neighborhood where the money is generated. Under the pilot program, 15 percent of the revenue from parking meters in the designated business improvement district (BIDs) areas will go to the BID. City lawmakers hope this will bolster local control by allowing residents to make decisions about how best to use money from meters to improve local transportation.
“A minimum of $50,000 – and likely more – will be available for the BID to spend on local mobility improvements, like street and sidewalk repairs, wayfinding signage, or on streetscape and community beautification efforts,” Bonin said. “The idea for this reform is one part of my parking reform effort, which also includes efforts to make it easier to find parking when you need it, and to keep fines fair.”
According to Westwood Village Executive Director of Westwood Village, the BID in Westwood Village, this program will generate over $200,000.
“For us, the 15 percent equals about $229,000 per year, which is quite a bit of extra revenue for us,” Thomas said. “We feel like we have a lot of options to spend the money on, but they really need to be centered around transportation and mobility improvements.”
Specifically, Thomas said that increased sidewalk reconstruction will be made possible with the money collected through this program.
Lincoln Heights is the other Los Angeles neighborhood included in this pilot program.
Under this program, expenditures BIDs are allowed to undertake include increasing multi-modal parking supply; construction and/or maintenance of street improvement projects and managing and optimizing existing parking supply. In addition, localities are permitted to use funds to reducing parking demand by the promotion of active transportation by installing electric vehicle charging stations, public transit, sidewalks curb ramps, and bicycle and pedestrian amenities. BIDs will not be allowed to construct new parking structures or special event parking with these funds.
The Westwood Village BID and Pacific Palisades BID, the organizations made up of local businesses, and tasked with a keeping their districts clean, friendly places to work, shop and do business, will be responsible for engaging local stakeholders to decide which local improvements are best for Westwood and Pacific Palisades respectively.