Changing The Car Culture Of Los Angeles

City planners -- hoping to get reluctant Angelenos out of their cars -- have put forth a proposal that would waive all parking requirements for developers whose buildings offered suitable transportation alternatives.

"At an August 9 Planning Commission meeting, [veteran city planner Thomas Rothmann] rolled out his latest of 10 proposed changes to the Municipal Code to address traffic and parking problems. Under current city code, developers may petition the powerful but obscure city zoning administrator, Michael LoGrande, to be excused from constructing parking for commercial and industrial buildings if city-mandated employee parking is shown to be unnecessary, and if viable parking alternatives are demonstrated.

But now, Rothmann proposes a move into uncharted territory, by pushing to allow such parking waivers for residential buildings. Under his plan, developers could win a "100 percent parking reduction" at condos and apartments citywide.

If approved by the 15-member City Council (no date for a vote has been set) and signed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Rothmann's antiparking rule, the so-called Parking Reduction Amendment, would let developers erect high-density dwellings and not build a single parking space as long as LoGrande feels residents have enough access to bicycle racks, van pools, bus stops or other "alternatives" to their cars."

"Rothmann enthuses: "We're just taking what's already there and making it easier" for developers to cut parking and, he hopes, use the leftover space to build ever-denser apartments and condos."

Full Story: Take This Car and Shove It



Irrational Article About LA Parking

Obviously a biased and irrational article. Notice the self-contradiction.

He says: "the sort of social engineers Orwell envisioned [are] ...pushing to restrict parking, even at condos and apartments. He hopes to render your car so burdensome, and your life around it so miserable, that for relief you'll use the frequent and efficient buses or subways."

He also says: "Nor does Rothmann's plan seem likely to stimulate very much cheap housing, with developers wary of erecting bizarre, parking-free apartments or condos in a city filled with workers married to cars."

But if only a few developers will build this sort of housing, then the law is not social engineering that restricts parking and forces people to live in housing without parking. It simply gives developers the option of building housing without parking, and (as he says) developers will build this only if there is demand for it.

If developers build a few buildings without parking for people who don't have cars (such as elderly people whose vision prevents them from driving), how does this hurt all the people who do have cars?

In reality, the current system restricts choice by requiring all housing to have parking, even housing for people who do not have cars.

Charles Siegel

Ditto.. Totally Irrational

Agreed. To read the article in its entirety is painful. I looked on the staff page of the LA Weekly to find out more about the author and send him an email with suggested readings before undertaking another article of this sort. I was horrified to find that he's listed as the Theater Editor. Clearly, the article was written by your Los Angelino - progressive, yet not progressive enough to actually do anything different.

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