7 tips for avoiding parking violations


happy 4th of july week to angelenos–the city of LA has graced us with a $5 hike on all parking violations. #awesome. i remember in college, i got a parking ticket on campus (which was $5) and they withheld my actual diploma until i paid it. looking back, that’s nothing compared to what tickets can add up to if not paid on time. here are my tips on avoiding parking violations at all costs….

1. practice better time management. point blank–give yourself enough time to get to your destination. the #1 reason folks get tickets is because they’re running late and park without reading signage. i know the signs can read like a novel with one too many characters but if you allow yourself enough time to translate ‘parking speak’ you’re well on your way to not getting a ticket.

2. read the sign. i know this sounds like a ‘part b’ to the 1st tip but it really is a pointer on its own. even if you’re running late, you must read the signs. call someone to decipher if you have to (which i have been known to do on occasion). i’m not kidding! if i’m confused and my inner monologue is saying, “what in parking hell?” i will call my beau and read the signage. sometimes it helps to read it out loud and all confusion just melts away.

3. know your curb colors. follow the link so you can spruce up your curb knowledge. and if you’re out and about and don’t have it down pat, google it!

4. carry coins–especially if you are the type that is constantly receiving tickets (my old roommate was one of these offenders).

5. use your credit card. these days, most parking meters in LA accept credit cards. i don’t care if you think it’s foolish to charge $0.50. #justdoit!!!!!!!!!

6. set your alarm. this way you’ll know when your meter or parking is about to expire and you can do something about it!

7. pay it immediately! god forbid, you get a ticket (which is now $63 for an expired meter). this item should now be moved to THE TOP of your to-do list—highlighted and circled in red pen. i have probably gotten 5-10 parking tickets over the past 10 years while living in los angeles. since getting a parking ticket is the most frustrating thing in the world, i will write a check immediately. again, not kidding here. i will take my checkbook out after i get back in the car, write the check, put a stamp on it and deposit it at the closest mailbox. when i do this,  it’s almost like it never happened (almost).

ps; you have 21 days to pay your parking ticket. after that, it doubles.

*what are your tips for avoiding parking violations? any tips you’d care to share?

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