Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


Revenue enhancers

Until this Saturday, I couldn’t figure out why I was constantly running out of change. I always keep coins in the armrest of my car so that I can pay parking meters. I know to do that, because the parking outside Moving Arts, where I lead my weekly playwriting workshop, is metered. It has been for about 12 years; for the four years before that, it was free. For 12 years I haven’t had to scrounge around for change, but now, for the second week in a row I was asking everybody else in the workshop if they had change for a couple of bucks.

That was when I realized:  I was ask for change for a couple of bucks. The City of Los Angeles had raised the price of parking. “They doubled the price of parking,” I said. But then someone corrected me:  “No, they quadrupled the price of parking.” It used to be 25¢ an hour — effective January 1st, it’s 25¢ for 15 minutes.

A quick search on the internet revealed that yes, the City has raised these meter rates all over the place, and yes, people are hopping mad. More changes are on the way. Until now, parking at a meter was free after 6 p.m.; soon it’ll be paid parking until 8 p.m. and, no doubt, upward. The Daily News says that the City is projecting $18 million in new revenue from these parking schemes.

I don’t think it’s the increase in the price to park that has me so agitated. After all, the price to use a parking lot is more like $8-$28. (That’s why they’re called lots.)  No, it’s the fact that these meters don’t take credit cards — something almost all new meters do. The cost of a parking ticket, by the way, is $45 — and they patrol diligently outside our theatre. Which leads me to wonder aloud if the reason that the City hasn’t put in parking meters that will accept credit cards is because they’d rather dispense parking tickets.

4 Responses to “Revenue enhancers”

  1. Rich Roesberg Says:

    Yes, we just got hit with an increase at the Margate Bridge, a short span. It is privately owned and includes a stretch of roadway beyond. The toll used to be about 50 cents, went to a dollar, and just hit a buck fifty. If I had to use that to get to work it would cost me $15 a week. The locals are protesting and the state is talking to the owners. We’ll see if anything positive happens.

  2. Paul Crist Says:


    You forgot to mention that the Margate Bridge Co. does offer discounts when buying multiple trips to load on to a pre-paid card. It’s not much, but better than nothing.

    I am not too happy about the increase, who wants to pay more money for anything? I was able to re-load my bridge card before the price went up.

    For those who are wondering what Rich and I are writing about the Margate Bridge Road is a private road linking the city of Margate, which is located on a barrier island, and the mainland. It is one of only a few private bridges in New Jersey.

  3. mark chaet Says:

    Street parking on Brand Blvd. in Glendale (CA) used to be free. Difficult to find an empty space, but free. Now it’s $1/hr (still difficult to find), though in this case, the meters do accept credit cards.

    Since every level of government all over the nation (globe, I suppose) is hurting, and services may be cut (the Glendale Public Library has already reduced its hours), and people are being furloughed and/or laid off, it’s difficult to complain about an obvious source of increased revenue for municipalities, but it’s annoying, all the same.

    Where’s Cool Hand Luke when we need him?

  4. EM Says:

    I don’t think this is going to increase their revenue. I think people are going to stop going places. The recession/crash is already discouraging them from going out, and now they’re going to be more discouraged. (I know I am.) This will decrease the amount of sales tax that they’re getting from restaurants and bars and shops and movie theaters. And then those businesses will go out of business, and they’ll no longer be getting property tax revenue or income tax revenue. And how much did it cost to change out all the infrastructure (meters and signs)? Dumb, dumb, dumb.

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