Parking Fee Proposal

June 2013

LA Express Park™ – Westwood Village Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: Isn’t this program just a rate increase? 

A: Actually, rates would go both up and down in response to the demand for parking on each block and throughout the day. In this way, customers have choices for parking that currently don’t exist. Drivers would be encouraged to park in areas of lower demand by offering lower prices. Likewise, some will chose not to park in areas of higher demand, especially when they plan to stay a while, because of higher rates. This allows more people to use the most convenient spaces throughout the day. In Downtown, where this strategy has been implemented over the last year, the average rate actually dropped at 60% of the spaces.

Q: How much are meter rates going to change? 

A: Rates could go as high as $2.00 per hour during peak times for high-demand spaces or as low as $0.50 per hour in less crowded times or blocks. The rates would be the same for all spaces on the same side of the block. Currently, all spaces are $1.00 per hour in Westwood Village.

Q: Isn’t this just a way for the city to get more money? 

A: Revenue has no bearing on the rates—only parking demand. The goal is better management of that demand to create one or two open spaces on each block, improving access to businesses for more customers. In Downtown, LA Express Park revenue actually stayed about the same (just a 2% increase), yet there was a 13% increase in utilization.

Q: Won’t a rate increase or variable pricing drive away customers? 

A: Initially, Downtown BIDs had similar concerns, but they haven’t seen customers leave due to the program. In fact, Downtown experienced a 13% increase in meter utilization, which means more people were parking at meters. Demand for on-street parking throughout the day has increased every month since January. This increase in demand is consistent with improvements in the economic indicators observed by the downtown BIDs. 2

Q: Won’t the prevalent use of disabled placards make this program ineffective? Shouldn’t we deal with the placard issue first? 

A: The current state laws governing the use of disabled placards limits the effectiveness of an intelligent parking management program like Express Park. However, the early results from LA Express Park Downtown show the program has been effective in achieving better distribution of parking and increased availability in high demand areas. The program is designed to filter out the effect of excessive disabled placard use. The City of Los Angeles is teaming with other cities across the state to work toward reform of the state’s disabled placard laws, but this will take some time.

Q: Why should we support a change in policy or pricing if Westwood doesn’t get to keep the revenue? 

A: The goals of the LA Express Park program are to increase the availability of parking and reduce traffic congestion. Those are the two main reasons to support Express Park—more parking, less traffic. This program is an opportunity to improve parking management policy in Westwood Village. This program does not affect the BID’s ability to pursue a financial policy change that would allow meter revenue to be reinvested into local improvements that support Westwood’s revitalization.

Q: But doesn’t this take us further away from local control of our policies and pricing? 

A: No, with LA Express Park, the Westwood Village business community will have a seat at the table throughout the process and the public’s input will be considered for any policy changes.

Q: This is the first I’m hearing about LA Express Park. Why didn’t LADOT ask the community before they applied for this grant? 

A: Because the opportunity for the grant funds was so limited, LADOT did not pursue public outreach at the time of the grant application. Now that the City has been awarded the funds, LADOT is conducting a public process to inform the business community about this opportunity, seek public input to refine the strategy, and present the program for the consideration of the Mayor and City Council.