Filmmaker Dan Parks searches to find out how Los Angeles’s 72 hour parking law is enforced and who it affects.
Most Americans were raised to ignore a problem. Specifically if it pertains to their health. I think we do so thinking that if we don’t pay attention to it it’ll just go away.
It’s been said that, “So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health.”
Los Angeles is a city known for three things. Dreams would have to be the first. People move to LA from all over the world on a whim. With a hope or a prayer or both, but the truth is many times the come without as much as a plan. And in a city full of cars that drives them nowhere.
And that leaves us with the other two things the City of Angels is known for:
A vehicular homeless person is defined as someone who is without a residence and instead lives in their car, van, or RV.
It’s estimated that there are currently 6,600 people living in vehicles in L.A. Until and unless the city is able to come up with solutions to homelessness it is plainly safer to sleep in a car or RV than on the street. It provides a way to retain some belongings, stay out of the rain, and have enough blankets to stay warm on cold nights. But that is only if there is somewhere to park.
A previous total ban on vehicle dwelling in Los Angeles was struck down by a federal court in 2014, on the grounds that it was too vague. That law defined a violation as being seen sleeping in a vehicle or a car filled with household goods, which the court ruled could apply to anyone.
Since the court decision in 2014, vehicle dwellers could park anywhere. Naturally those living on residential streets have not wanted to have people camped in cars and RVs in front of their homes.
The law was revised in 2017 lifting a total ban on vehicle dwellings, but it still prohibits living in a car or RV within one block (500 feet) of licensed schools, pre-schools, daycare facilities, or parks. It also prohibits living in a vehicle at night on any residential street.
The L.A. Times estimates that only 10% of city streets are zoned for vehicle dwelling. And that doesn’t necessarily mean car dwellers can park there. Some have red curbs, limited parking posted in the daytime, gridlock parking restrictions during rush hour, or are in dangerously isolated industrial areas.
Vehicle dwellers are also subject to all posted ordinary parking restrictions and are under the 72 hour limit:
The current California Vehicle Code and the Los Angeles Municipal Code prohibits parking or standing of a vehicle upon any City street, highway or alley for 72 or more consecutive hours. California Vehicle Code authorizes towing of any vehicle that is inoperable, parked on City streets, and is a public hazard.
Who does this 72 hour law affect?
The vehicle dwellers
Los Angeles residents
& The towing companies left to clean up the mess.
Los Angeles is sick. We’ve got a new thriving downtown with highrises, 5-star restaurants, and organic grocery stores all next to 2nd largest homeless population in the United States.
We’ve already been spending our cities health trying to gain wealth. A body is as only as good as it’s limbs. A city is only as good as it’s people.
It was Aristotle that said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Does the constitution guarantee Life, Liberty, and a place to park?
Is it legal to get towed just for existing?
Let’s find out.