Monday, December 11, 2006

Will Mr. Stevens give up his parking space to our seniors

Dear Mr. Stevens,


Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Kevin Salatino, and I am Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Like Flint and Terri Dille, I live (am a homeowner, as are all the resident of my complex) at 10966 Strathmore Drive. My partner is a doctor of infectious diseases with responsibilities at 3 hospitals and one clinic, scattered across the city. We could not possibly function without two cars. And while I could theoretically take the bus to work, as head of my department I have appointments virtually every day of the week off site, both during the day and almost as often in the evening. This necessitates my using a car. Nor could I share my partner’s car even if we chose to, given his constant need of it. I am not at all opposed to permit parking if it could be made to work. And I also think it’s important to separate two distinct issues here. One is the way this whole problem is being handled – in an extremely heavy-handed, even patronizing, way that I find deeply troubling, indeed insulting. We are being told that unless we remove our tandem-parked cars shortly, ticketing will begin post haste. This order has been issued as if by imperial fiat without any alternatives being proposed, without a town meeting to discuss proposals to resolve the situation, without any input – that I can see – from the people who must deal with this on a daily basis. At Michael Dukakis’ urging we are being asked instantly to solve a problem largely created by UCLA and the city. UCLA has had unbridled growth in its student population in the past ten years (most recently the astonishing addition of a virtual village for 2000 students on Veteran). It has not adequately provided for, nor considered the long-term consequences of, the parking needs of all those additional students. The other issue is how the problem is to be solved. Is it too much to ask the city to convene a meeting for this to be discussed – democratically, in an open forum – before tickets begin to be issued? I, for one, have no idea what to do with my car in the interim. There is almost never parking on the street. As for your observation that parked cars are blocking sidewalks: that has always been a ticketable offense, and quite rightly. Anyone who abuses it should be cited. My condominium complex goes to great pains to make certain that the sidewalk in front of our building is always clear. What we are actually talking about is parking on the apron, not on the sidewalk. The sidewalk must be kept clear at all times. If proper enforcement of that rule were instituted, I believe your family would not be compelled to walk in the street, which, of course, should never happen. I, for one, just want this issue resolved. Worry over it, and a sense of utter helplessness – beginning with a rehearsal two years ago when warnings and citations suddenly starting being issued, again at Michael Dukakis’ behest (though this was only revealed later, in a startlingly high-handed way) – have caused fear, anxiety and consternation (and, two years ago, not insignificant expense) for everyone in my complex. Then too, the order was issued with no input, no knowledge of who to turn to, little interest from the city in resolving it, etc. Something needs to be done, but I hope you agree with me that it must be done correctly, and with real understanding that the problem must be solved and not simply brushed away. Thanks for listening.




Kevin Salatino


From: Bjorn Stevens []
Monday, December 11, 2006 12:35 PM
To: Flint Dille
Cc: Sina Bolour (Verizon); Salatino, Kevin;;;;
Subject: Re: Will Mr. Stevens give up his parking space to our seniors [html]


Dear Flint,


my parking situation is that we have one garage and one car that my wife and I share.  Indeed we used to even share it with our neighbor who also taught at UCLA and managed to go car-less for five years.   My guess is that one parking-space (our garage) shared by four people (two adults and two kids) is not overly consumptive, you can decide if that makes me wheat or chaff.  


Could it be that maybe you don't walk with your kids around the neighborhood as much (we walk by your place at least once a day, but on the other side).    If so I would think you would be as worried about the safety issues as we are.  Even if  you don't walk in the neighborhood lots, the photo is nice and shows that you do get out.  I especially like the photo because the public sidewalk is free so your kids don't have to go in the street. 


I am sorry if I can not understand the need (and perceived right) of people to use public sidewalks to store their automobiles, indeed cars blocking sidewalks is the heart of the issue.  I also fail to appreciate why a permit system like they have east of campus and on Midvale isn't being openly welcomed by you and others.





On Dec 11, 2006, at 12:17 PM, Flint Dille wrote:


Lots of us have small kids. I have two of my own (see attached). I live at 10966 Strathmore, probably the epicenter (due to the hill that students barrel over) of nasty traffic and I don’t think the apron parking makes it more dangerous. If anything, the irregularity serves as a virtual speed bump for drivers. 


Mr. Stevens failed to include his address.  What is his exact parking situation.


Here’s the question that separates the wheat from the chaff. Will he give up his parking lot to Lil and Hal or some of the other seniors in the neighborhood should they be inconvenienced.  After all, as the attached photo of my kids  will testify, kids can make it up a hill more easily than seniors.




[]From: Bjorn Stevens <>



Date: Sun, Dec 10, 2006 at 12:08 PM


As a property owner and a father who lives in the North Village of
Westwood I wanted to thank you and the city for finally deciding to
act on the parking situation (i.e., Apron parking).  The blocking of
sidewalks has long posed a hazard for my family and I; often forcing
us (with small children) to walk in the street in order to navigate
cars blocking the sidewalks.  I have long believed that the failure
of the city to enforce its parking rules exposed it to liability. And
while we have continued to press with parking services to address the
issue, I am glad that the reality of this liability has finally
encouraged the city to act.

North Village has some of the highest density of pedestrian
traffic in
Los Angeles, making the environment safe for pedestrians
and clean should be the city's priority, not subsidizing property
owners who are packing
four to six students with cars into buildings
with parking for no more than two cars per unit.

Best wishes,

Bjorn Stevens




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