Monday, February 7, 2011

How about Visitor Incentives Instead of Parking Tickets?

I read in the Pilot that Laguna Beach cites visitors and residents for $2.5M in meter collections, $3.5M in parking tickets and maybe another $1.0M for moving violations (5,833 tickets), a total of $7M per year. Hmmm the city collects $7M per year for visitor disincentives?

Clearly citations and fees for visiting downtown Laguna don't leave those cited with a welcome message. Then I read this excerpt in today's Indy (SCORE front page) where the experts arrive at the same interpretation. Jack Curtis is with the LB Chamber of Commerce.

As for Laguna’s struggle to revitalize a waning retail community, Curtis is not impressed. “Laguna has a unique business climate because it is luxury-based,” he said, which means visitors need to feel accommodated in order to want to return. But the city, he said, is not paying attention.
“For one thing, the city tickets people for not parking their cars exactly within the lines,” he commented. “When word of that gets around, and it has, people aren’t going to want to come here and spend their money,” said Curtis, who recently visited Palm Springs and found no parking meters and jam-packed shops. “People just don’t see Laguna as a welcoming place.”

WHAT NO PARKING METERS? What happened in Palm Springs?

A complete street policy focuses on revitalization of the downtown business district, Palm Springs happened to do that to some extent by separating their through traffic from the business district via Palm Canyon Drive. Here's the mechanism for funding their project:

The arrangement transferred county and Caltrans funds targeted for (highway) widening to the city (revitalization) project as long as (Caltrans) traffic performance targets were achieved.

Here's a partial story on the Palm Springs revitalization with Complete Streets Policy:

Imagine the possibilities if Laguna could revitalize their downtown business district by offering visitor incentives instead of parking incentives?

Les Miklosy


  1. we make it too cheap for motorists to park their cars, which takes away any incentive to walk or ride a bike.

    I'm not surprised at the parking tickets, most police departments are in revenue-generating mode and short term attitudes of balancing a budget push more sensible approaches of creating an inviting community to the back burner. Could LB accomplish more by simply doubling the parking meter rate?

  2. This month my daughter received a "Warning Violation" for "parking over marked lines/not within space" a little between 9 and 10am in the
    LAGUNA BEACH HIGH SCHOOL PARKING LOT!! Honestly, does Officer Mackler and the City of Laguna Beach not have anywhere else to make their income and/or posture their superiority other then the high school parking lot? I would assume that anyone who has parked in this lot is well aware that the spaces barely fit a car made in the last 20 years and it is rare a high school parking lot does not suffer from the Domino Effect. Would it be fantastic if the teenagers (and District Workers for that matter) who leave home early to get a spot in the lot are able to not only find an empty space but one with two visible lines-absolutely. And it would be even more fantastic if the guys from Disney would direct them as they enter the lot as well so this will happen! With the recent skateboarding wars, and the meter maids canvassing the school lot for infractions-what is the City of Laguna Beach saying to the teens who live here? You're not welcomed at home...why should you care? Ever heard the saying, THE CHILDREN OF TODAY ARE THE FUTURE OF TOMORROW. Let's foster that Laguna, not spend your time slapping wrists with "warnings" that literally will not solve the parking within the space problem in the district lot-it'll just remind the students that even tho they got up early to get to school on time...someone still wants to "put them in their place?"