(Tuesday, August 28th, 2012)

Parking is a Privilege, Not a Right

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The one thing I didn’t budget for while mapping out our city expenses is parking. Los Angeles is overfilled with valet services and parking garages. Last weekend, I went to The Grove (a shopping district) to try on wedding dresses. With a validated ticket, I still had to fork over $11 for my time in one of over 500 parking spaces. Today, I went to see my doctor and in order to do so, I first had to pay $3 to enter the garage (with no reimbursement or validation once inside). Having the Handiman, or the blue wheelchair placard that hangs on the rearview mirror, helps. I’m not suppose to have to pay for city meters and lots marked as public parking, although some attendants still charge me anyway (and when this happens I don’t think of it as a parking fee, but as a donation to stop arguing with an imbecile). Most parking lots, however, are privately owned, which means my disability awards me no benefit. So it’s ten bucks here, and seven bucks there. Accumulate that over a month’s time and what you have is a real monthly expense. Not to mention the $200 a month we pay to rent a parking space in our own parking garage below the place we live. So next time you pull into your FREE driveway in the suburbs, think of me in Los Angeles. In this city, parking is a privilege not a right.

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