L.A. City Parking Garage Deal Dies An Unlamented Death
|Flickr user grifay|
|The Hollywood & Highland garage|
It's become commonplace to trash the idea. In a complex budget process with few easy choices, it became an easy target. It was, indeed, a short-term fix to a long-term problem, and nobody could really say what the economic effect of jacking up parking rates would be.
But it's worth noting that both the L.A. Times and the L.A. Daily News editorialized in favor of it, which suggests that the closer you looked at the deal, the more sensible it seemed.
As we noted last month, the real problems with the deal were political and not financial. The idea came from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, whose clout with the City Council has ebbed almost to nothing.
And it faced concerted opposition from affected parties: merchants in Westwood and Hollywood. Had the city privatized its garages, it would have meant the end to free and subsidized parking rates. That meant the merchants would have lost a valuable city subsidy.
And so the poli-sci became somewhat simple: On the "yes" side was the mayor, who nobody is listening to anymore. On the "no" side was an organized business coalition, who the council very much still is listening to. Game over.