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Eyes on the Street: Cars Parking on Koreatown Sidewalks

Anti-parking posts like these (which didn’t prevent the car from its spot) are proliferating in Koreatown. All photos: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

In 2015, I posted about what appeared to be a relatively new situation: a seemingly increasing number of cars parking on Koreatown sidewalks. I mentioned that I basically never saw this in my neighborhood only 5-10 years ago.

Note that Koreatown is Los Angeles' most population-dense neighborhood. It is among the most heavily walked neighborhoods in the city of Los Angeles. All of these photos are within ten blocks of the Beverly/Vermont Red Line Station.

In the past year, from my anecdotal travels in my neighborhood, sidewalk parking seems to keep getting worse. Cars parked in parkways and on wide sidewalks seem to now be part of Koreatown's new normal.

Parkway parking in Koreatown this afternoon
Parkway parking in Koreatown this afternoon.
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Cars parked illegally in the parkway today.
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Another car on a Koreatown sidewalk today
Another car on another Koreatown sidewalk today.
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A week or so ago, I spotted something new.

Posts against sidewalk parking in Koreatown
Posts against sidewalk parking in Koreatown
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For a block of New Hampshire Avenue - between Third and Fourth Streets - there are new upright metal posts placed in paved driveway areas and along sidewalks. They appear to be DIY, not official. There is no signage, but they do appear to keep cars off of parkway areas. Most of the posts are in front of somewhat recent (a couple decades old) apartment buildings, most built with ground floor parking. Near these are several older buildings (nearly a century old) with little-to-no on-site parking. Perhaps these posts are apartment owners' efforts to stave off the blight of cars parked all over their frontage.

After I first saw those posts, I have been noticing them all over Koreatown, especially the rectangle bound by Beverly Boulevard, Vermont Avenue, Wilshire Boulevard and Normandie Avenue.

A dozen yellow posts at the corner of First and Catalina Streets
A dozen yellow posts at the corner of First and Catalina Streets.
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This Koreatown anti-parking post is a locked retractable bollard
This Koreatown anti-parking post is a locked retractable bollard. More posts in the background.
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The front yard of this fourplex is already half-paved for parking. Posts (one of which lies prone) keep cars off the parkway.
The front yard of this fourplex is already half-paved for parking. Posts (one of which lies prone) attempt to keep cars off the parkway.
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Posts keep cars off this parkway, where soil has become compacted and barren despite ample recent rains
Graffiti-ed posts keep cars off this parkway, where soil has become compacted and barren despite ample recent rains.
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Most are painted yellow, but these Koreatown anti-parking posts are stainless steel
Most anti-parking posts are painted yellow, but these Koreatown ones are stainless steel
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If I had to choose between parked cars and posts, I guess I would take the posts. The posts don't try to drive on the sidewalk. Nonetheless it feels like replacing one pedestrian barrier with another.

Readers - I ask: are other Angelenos seeing a proliferation of cars parking on sidewalks and parkways? What neighborhoods? What should we do to reverse this trend? Would things be better if parking restrictions were enforced? Are there any ways to prevent these drivers from storing their cars on space that would otherwise belong to pedestrians?

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