L.A. Moves to Curb Parking's 'Wild West'

Ever wonder what happens to your car after you hand it to a valet? You probably don't want to know the answer. A new ordinance to be considered by L.A.'s City Council may finally rein in "the wild, wild West at our curbs."
November 19, 2012, 1pm PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Late last week, the Los Angeles City Council's Public Safety Committee voted to send an ordinance that would, for the first time, regulate the city's myriad parking valets, to the full council with the recommendation that it be passed as quickly as possible, reports Martha Groves.

The new ordinance, which "would require a valet operator in Los Angeles to obtain a master permit, check employees' backgrounds and carry liability insurance," comes in response to complaints that "fly-by-night valets have turned trusting souls into cynics by failing to cover damage to vehicles or by lifting valuables from glove compartments. Meanwhile, rogue operators have enraged residents by parking across driveways, moving garbage bins to free up spaces, monopolizing metered spots and speeding in reverse down busy streets to snag spaces."

According to Groves, "[e]lements of the ordinance were modeled on valet parking rules already in effect in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Pasadena and West Hollywood, said Maria Souza-Rountree, of L.A.'s chief legislative analyst's office."

The new rules, which could be approved as early as next month by the Council, "would go into effect in Hollywood and then be phased in throughout the rest of the city."

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Published on Friday, November 16, 2012 in Los Angeles Times
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