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BEACHCOMBER: Parking And Neighborhoods

  • By David Barron

By Dave Barron. It is the holiday season and I should not be writing about serious subjects, but I have to get something off my mind..

The serious subject is parking and difficulties that we experience in an urban environment.
Those of you who live in the hills of Monterey Park and northern Rosemead probably don’t have any idea of what I am talking about. 
But, in parts of local cities, parking can be at a premium.
For one thing, we have growing families that need transportation. A couple with two older children can result in about four or more cars in the home.
Some people need at least three to four spaces on the street. If they have a garage or carport, it is usually packed with stuff and not used for parking.
In some of our nice neighborhoods, city fathers many years ago permitted them to build homes with very short driveways – so short that cars have to park sideways.
If you live in an apartment area, the parking problem is twice as bad. Because of today’s bad economy, a one bedroom unit sometimes houses more than four people. I don’t know where they sleep, but I know where they park their cars on the street.
Some of you may live next to houses that have been converted to rooming houses that may have five to 10 people renting rooms or some kind of sleeping accommodations. A reader pointed out a home where they have up to 10 cars on the street every night.
You can easily spot a rooming house because men and women can be seen smoking outside in the evenings because it is not permitted inside.
They also go outside to use cell phones because reception many not be good in the home. Many times they simply sit in their cars with friends because they don’t have a place to meet inside.
Street sweeping days when parking is restricted on one side of the street becomes a day of “musical cars.”
People may park their cars half a block away from their apartment because all the spaces are filled.
Weekends can be a problem because couples choose to drive only one car and leave the other car parked on the street for three days.
People are always looking for solutions to the problem, and some have found them. What they do is widen their driveway and eliminate some of the grass. Other people put down paving on their front landscaped area.
I saw a house the other day where the entire front yard was paved over so that they could park a couple of cars.
I don’t know if this paving of landscape is legal or not. But if you have plans to take this solution, you’d better check with the local city planning department.
With today’s downsized city staffs – particularly in code enforcement – this might be time consuming.
If you are looking for a new apartment, you had better check out the parking first. Visit the location in the early evening when everybody is home to get a good feel for parking problems.
By the way, this parking problem occurs throughout the county. The Times carried a story about a new Los Angeles City law that will permit home owners to park at the driveway entrance to their homes.

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