Thursday, July 21, 2011

Scenes from My Hood

It was a gamble. Rather than paying $125 per month for a tandem parking spot inside my apartment complex, I chose to park my car on the streets of Los Angeles. Finding street parking in Los Angeles is no easy feat, but it would save me a lot of money each month. But with all the random street parking rules that are enforced (i.e. no parking on the right side of street A on Wednesday and no parking on the left side of street B on Thursday, but no parking on the left side of street B - which is next to street A - on Wednesday and no parking on the right side of the street B on Thursday, etc.), at some point in time, a parking violation was inevitable. Between my roommate and my boyfriend, they have accumulated more than two dozen parking violations this past school year.

I thought I could break the curse. And I did, until yesterday.

I returned from physics lecture at 1:07pm to discover that there was an ominous envelope on the windshield of my car. Sadly, it was a parking violation - $68 for parking on the wrong side of the street during street cleaning.

What's irritating is that the street didn't even look cleaner after the so-called "street cleaning" that is scheduled to take place every Wednesday and Thursday from 12pm - 2pm. Honestly, I see more parking enforcement personel on the streets than street cleaning vehicles. We understand that California is currently in a fiscal crisis but isn't this a cheap shot way to generate revenue?

While I'm on the subject of transportation in Los Angeles, here's a scene from my daily commute on the 405. You thought Carmageddon was a 53-hour affair? Think again.

This is the daily Carmageddon in Los Angeles, where it's actually possible to be traveling at 0 mph for long stretches of time.

There are a few roads in Los Angeles that I particularly hate driving - the 405, the 10W, and Vermont Ave. We were driving back home from a morning of physics lecture at Northridge only to find the Vermont was completely blocked off. Now, I dislike driving on Vermont because there are only two lanes - the right lane is perpetually blocked by busses and the left lane is perpetually jammed by drivers attempting to make an unprotected left turn. Today's jam on Vermont was due to something else:

A police car crashed into the traffic light on Vermont, causing it to topple over. I'm not sure how that happened...

Moral of the story: drive safely and avoid driving into traffic lights.

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