Last summer, Mitch O’Farrell, at the illegal request of Media District ED Lisa Schechter, supported by anti-RV-crusader-on-steroids Mike Bonin, introduced the despicable Council File 16-0967, seeking to ban oversized vehicle parking in the Media District BID. Of course, the thing passed, because this kind of thing always passes, and the ordinance was approved, and up went the signs.
There was one small problem, though. The ordinance, as do all of these little slabs of class warfare, bans:
…the parking of vehicles that are in excess of 22 feet in length or over seven feet in height, during the hours of 2:00 am and 6.00 am…
But the signs, when they went up, said something different.1 They banned vehicles that are in excess of 22 feet in length AND over seven feet in height. See the problem? At first I wondered if this were nothing more than an uncharacteristically lapse into honesty by the class warriors at the BID. Perhaps, I thought, they wanted to keep it legal to live in limousines, even if RVs were to be banned, banned, banned.
Well, the fact that the ordinance says differently and the fact that some signs put up more recently that had had to be backordered proved that this was actually an unintentional error. And despite the joking about limos, there were actually some RV-dwellers over on Lillian and also on Willoughby Avenue, since vanished, whose vehicles were over 22 feet long but were under seven feet high. Presumably they could have stayed, at least until the signs were changed. But almost certainly LADOT enforces these kinds of signs on a tow-first-discuss-later basis, which obviates all legal niceties, as is usually the case with anti-poverty legislation.
What does it all mean? Well, nothing more than that the usual carelessness which accompanies privilege, the fact that the laws are written by and for the propertied classes to oppress, corral, harass, neutralize, the poor, will have no effect at all on how the laws are enforced, on the fact that they have their intended effects no matter what their explicit meaning is. Everyone involved knows that the law really means that homeless people living in RVs can’t park there. Everyone involved knows that RED Studios and the other industry players in the area can park their big semi-trailers there without the required permits for weeks on end. Everyone knows that it doesn’t matter what the signs say, because everyone knows what they mean.
Image of anti-homeless parking sign is ©2016 MichaelKohlhaas.org. Image of long pink Cadillac is via Wikimedia and the licensing terms are explained over there.