Koreatown Suffering from Lack of Parking Spaces

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The battle for parking spaces in Los Angeles is only getting worse.

As high-rise residential buildings and apartments continue to surface across the city, some residents have even been forced to pay to secure parking spaces near their homes.

The scarcity of parking spaces has led property management companies to take advantage, while residents’ frustrations are growing larger. In some cases, the two sides have collided in anger.

Recently, a property management overseeing a building on Wilshire and Normandie notified its residents about the rising parking costs. It has banned drivers from parking in their property from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but those who continue to use the parking structure during those hours must pay $16 each time they drive in or out of the property.

Angered by the management’s alleged profit-seeking greed, some residents of the building designed a flier titled, “Parking Lot Scam,” and has recently began passing out copies around the neighborhood.

“L.A. Koreatown is already running out of parking spaces as it has been overpopulated for quite some time,” the flier read. “Even in a situation like this, the building management didn’t bother lowering the parking costs. In fact, the management is charging even more money by hosting outsiders to use its parking structure by driving out the residents.”

Such an inconvenience is only worse for residents of smaller-scale apartments in Koreatown. Some apartments only provide one parking space unless the resident pays a higher rent. Many of the residents spend tens of minutes just to look for parking after returning from work.

Some Koreatown residents plan on launching an official petition to fight for their rights as they have already started taking complaints from their fellow neighbors via email (ktownparkingjustice@gmail.com).

In recent months, the battle for parking has even expanded to residential areas around smaller houses. It has also been revealed that some nearby businesses providing valet parking are occupying residential street parking.

“Sometimes, it takes more than 30 minutes for me to find parking near my house after I get back from work,” said Young-shin Lee, a 48-year-old L.A. resident. “I end up parking three to four blocks away from where I live. I see valet parking people using our spaces. I’ve complained before, but nothing has been done from what I’ve seen.”

An employee at the L.A. Department of Transportation said: “We’ve received many reports from residents about those who are simply occupying others’ spaces illegally as the parking situation has gotten worse over the years. To find a solution, we’ve now created a separate phone line to receive illegally parked cars at 818-374-4823.”

By Yeol Jang