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Groups call on city to reduce fines for parking tickets

LOS ANGELES — A working group’s recommendations to set parking fines at $23 and make other changes to the way the city of Los Angeles handles parking meter fees and citations are expected to go before a City Council committee later this month.

The Los Angeles Parking Reform Working Group, convened last year by Mayor Eric Garcetti, released a report in February that suggests the lower fine and makes six other major recommendations.

The report suggests the city cut its parking fines from an average amount of about $68 to $23 for the first violation. The fines would go up with each additional violation, with the fourth violation resulting in a $68 fine.

The idea to set the parking fine at $23 is similar to one proposed last year by the Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative, which wanted to cap parking citations at $23. The co-founders of the group, Steven Vincent and Jay Beeber, both sit on the working group committee that developed the latest recommendations.

The city working group is recommending that the cost of parking meters be set according to supply and demand. It also suggests the city only use parking revenue toward increasing parking spaces and programs that improve the experience of parking in Los Angeles.

Another recommendation asks city leaders to cater more to the needs of delivery vehicles, given the rise in e-commerce. Freight delivery vehicles often get cited because there are often not enough parking spaces available, according to the report.

A fourth recommendations asks city leaders to review overnight and preferential parking policies, setting up restricted parking programs in a “more objective and inclusive way.”

The group also wants the city to review its street-cleaning procedures and reduce the amount of citations given for parking violations during street cleaning, the top citation issued by the city. The city issued more than 600,000 street cleaning-related citations in fiscal year 2012-13, which makes up 26 percent of all citations the city gave out, according to the report.

A sixth recommendation asks the city to use technology to improve parking.

The Los Angeles City Council’s Transportation Committee is expected to take up the recommendations at a meeting later this month.