Author photo

By Neil Rubenstein
Observer Columnist 

The Farragut Parking Problem Isn't Getting Better


February 15, 2018

Residents of the 10700 block of Farragut Drive, who banded together to oppose efforts to lift the Permit only parking restrictions to facilitate easy parking for the adjacent businesses refer to March 14, 2016 as “THE MIDNIGHT MASSACRE.”

That night the Culver City Council Agenda was changed to make discussion concerning Farragut Drive one of the last items to be addressed. Some residents feel that was done because KNBC-TV had expressed an interest in doing a fellow-up to their previous coverage of the dispute between the residents and those who wanted access to the residential neighborhood’s more convenient parking.

So, after midnight, when many had given up and gone home, council members voted to replace the PERMIT ONLY signs with the new standard 2-HOUR ONLY signs to conduct a Parking Study, estimated to cost $30,000. Residents felt that past CCPD citation statistics (approximately $30,000 per year) would give a better picture of intrusion parking rather than studying parking patterns after a short cooling off period on a block where restrictions had been actively enforced for decades.

September 12, 2016 the Culver City Council voted to permanently remove the PERMIT ONLY restrictions of the residential neighborhood, turning the 10700 block of Farragut Drive into a public parking lot for the surrounding businesses by imposing the new standard two-Hour parking. Basing the Council’s decision on what 10700 block Farragut Drive residents considered, at best, a flawed Parking Study, the Council told the neighbors they would have at least a little protection with the new 8 am to 6 pm two-hour standard model.

After being vilified on social media, accused of being bad neighbors who would slash your tires if you parked on Farragut Drive, residents were flabbergasted to say the least. While some on the City Council had access to a popular closed Facebook Group where the block was being trolled, Farragut Drive residents were denied access. The group administrator believed the residents would be too derisive. As one Councilmember referred to what was being posted on social media in his statement to the public, while residents were being denied access to respond to the accusations, Farragut Drive residents thought his conduct reflected the business over resident’s bias of some Councilmembers. Farragut Drive residents were chided for costing Culver City $300,000 in legal fees, even though Brown Act legislation provides an escape clause whereby the City could have avoided any litigation at all.

Now, with over a year under their belts, Farragut Drive residents still remember the words of former CCPD Chief Ted Cooke—2 Hour Parking is unenforceable!

Parking enforcement is subject not only to the availability of Parking Enforcement Officers and or the magic bullets of two vans equipped with GPS, Vehicle Database and Digital Cameras in Culver City, but also the availability of Dispatchers at the outsourced Dispatch Center in the South Bay. While some in the City Council may believe former Culver City Dispatchers answer non-emergency calls, Farragut Drive residents have found that non-emergency Dispatchers have no idea about Culver City and have been startled to hear the phrase, “I’ll check with my Sergeant about that.” A symptom of growing pains in that some phone calls for enforcement were either never answered or put on hold after being triaged as a non-emergency call.

With the 10700 block of Farragut being a public parking lot, residents have learned about “judgement” and “discretion.” When they receive a response to enforcement requests, they frequently hear, “this is a busy street and you have to expect your driveways to get blocked…you can probably get out if you are real careful, “ or “they are starting to leave so I am going to wait a few minutes before writing any citations, “or the ever popular “the Judge would probably throw the case out if the ticket is fought, so I won’t cite the car for squeezing your driveways.”

Farragut Drive residents have found the new CCPD Camera Vans have a long way to grow and multiply before they really are the magic bullets to solve Culver City parking problems, as are the new virtual parking passes - imagine the efficiency…parking passes that only the computers know about???

Residents of the 10700 block of Farragut Drive suffered and continue to suffer an injustice by a business biased City Council. Culver City needlessly expended funds to take away PERMIT ONLY Parking Restrictions on the 10700 block of Farragut Drive. Culver City loses a $30,000 life-time annuity, through flawed technology and CC employees reluctant to enforce regulations. Is this any way to make Culver City great, again?

There is a law in Georgia which took effect July 1, 2017. For those who buy a 6-pack of beer and drink it down in the store’s parking lot, because you don’t want it to get warm before you drive the 20 miles to get home; you should know those arrested for DUI may be given the option of installing an ignition interlock device into their vehicle and acquiring a limited driver’s license. The limited license costs $25, the interlock $100 plus $2.60 per day. Presently a DUI in the Peach State will be about $1600 when all is said and done.


Reader Comments(1)

ilbert writes:

I visited 17000 Farragut today (3/28/18) at 2:59 p.m. Facing west, standing just west of the alley approximately one-half block west of Overland, there were no cars parked in the street until you reached the school two blocks to the west. The street was virtually empty. This is consistent with the City's parking study. The residents have been pushing the false narrative for over 20 years that there is a parking problem. The objective-professional-parking study proved their narrative false.


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