L.A. to Citizens: In case of fire, call a meter maid

December 6, 2012

The Los Angeles City Council has voted 12-1 to ticket cars that park beside broken parking meters if they’re there longer than the meter’s maximum time.

The decision isn’t quite as stupid as it sounds.  Apparently drivers were going Cool Hand Luke on the meters to get themselves some extra time and deprive the city of revenue needed for other really important things like porn-shoot condom enforcement. When new meters are installed with little warnings on them explaining that brokenness doesn’t entitle free parking, vandalism goes way down.

In typical LA Times fashion, the story on the city council vote buries the lede nine grafs in:

The meters, which are expected to be installed citywide by the end of the year, automatically message transportation employees of operational problems and are typically back in service within three hours, officials said.

Three hours includes notification time, travel time, and repair time. (Response times to potholes are measured in eras.)

Now contrast that against a story from yesterday about fire department response times.

Los Angeles Fire Chief Brian Cummings turned the tables on City Council members Tuesday, blaming response time delays on budget cuts approved by lawmakers.

“You gave us a budget,” Cummings said during a nearly two-hour hearing at City Hall. “We’re giving you the most effective fire department that we can within that budget.”

Cummings had been summoned to appear by council members who complained that he had not produced a requested plan to improve service and shorten response times, which have grown longer since deep budget cuts were approved in 2009.

Imagine the response time if you put a broken meter outside a condomless porn shoot.

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