Opinion: Oblivious? Entitled? Insecure? WeHo’s People Who Can’t Park

Chevrolet Trailblazer, 096LB, spanning two parking spaces at Smart & Final, 1041 N. Fuller Ave., on Nov. 18

West Hollywood residents frequently complain about the lack of parking in our compact city. There are many reasons why a parking space can be difficult to find. Unfortunately one of them is that some drivers are oblivious to certain parking basics.

For example, whatever you’re driving, you need to know that you should park between the lines, not across them.

And if you’re one of those “environmentally conscious” WeHo residents who needs to drive a Range Rover or a Mercedes G Class or a Cadillac Escalade, remember that parking spaces labeled for compact cars aren’t for your “status mobile.” More than once this driver has had to crawl across the passenger side of his small Mini Cooper to get behind the steering wheel in the parking structure at 8582 Santa Monica Blvd., where the “compact” spaces often are filled with luxury lounges on wheels.

So what can we do about this? Apparently not much. The parking attendants shrug their shoulders. And while leaving a nasty note on the windshield may make you feel better, it isn’t likely to have much of an impact on someone whose car size betrays an anxious Trumpian sense of the meaning of “big.”

We could, however, shed a little shame on those who don’t understand basic parking rules. Thus WEHOville is inviting its readers to share photos of cars that cross the line or park in spots where they’re not supposed to be. We aren’t including parking spots for the handicapped in this shame campaign because that’s a system so incredibly abused that it’s hard to figure out what permit holder really deserves one. (Remember that City Council candidate who used her disabled parking permit at the City Council Chambers parking structure while also posting on Facebook those photos of herself running on a softball field?)

Use the photos above  and below as an example of what you need to catch with your smartphone — the date, the rear of the car and its license plate, and how it is straddling the parking space line or crowding out the compact car properly parked next to it. Email it to me at henry@wehoville.com and I’ll publish it. And include the location. Maybe that will inspire parking lot owners to start enforcing the rules. Don’t worry, we won’t share you name. It’s the People Who Can’t Park we want to call out.


A not-so-compact Range Rover, 8BYP618, tucked into a “compact” space at the five-story parking structure at West Hollywood Library on Nov. 19.


Chevrolet Suburban, GWD 505, parked almost outside space at 8582 Santa Monica Blvd. on Nov. 19.


Cadillac SUV, 7YUZ869, spanning two spaces at 8582 Santa Monica Blvd., on Nov. 18.


Range Rover, 399 UZW, in compact parking space at 8582 Santa Monica Blvd. on Nov. 19.


Toyota Tundra pickup truck, 7A60673, parked across two compact parking spaces at 8582 Santa Monica Blvd. on Nov. 18.


Nissan Murano, 7STF267, parked across two spaces at Smart & Final, 1041 N. Fuller Ave., on Nov. 18


Audi, L358NO, in compact space at parking structure at 8582 Santa Monica Blvd. on Nov. 18.

  1. The people that do this are lazy, arrogant, obnoxious pricks. And my shopping cart accidentally hits their car every time. Oops.

  2. Don’t let these inconsiderate folks ruin your day or cause you to leave a nasty note… it only empowers them. Shaming them doesn’t help either. Try leaving a nicer note pointing out they might not realize that their bad parking inconveniences others and find another space out of the line of fire and runaway shopping carts.

  3. Hank, I’d ask that you include any photos of vehicles that are parked in spaces for the disabled, without placards. I’ve confronted people before and they say “I’m just going to park here for a minute” and my response is that no one is disabled ‘just for a minute”. I don’t judge anyone with a placard on how they appear, how their mobility is (although when I see someone park in a handicapped space, get out of their car & literally run to the gym to take back to back dance classes…).
    I have one due to nerve damage in my feet, so I look fine (well, I look like i look….) but my doctor told me years ago that I needed to take fewer steps and insisted I get a placard. I never would have on my own, but there are days it makes a huge difference

  4. Stop shaming people for the car they want to drive. Not everyone wants to drive a Prius and it has nothing to do with “status” as you claim. All of the compact car spots are closer to the entrances. Where do you actually see a parking spot that ISN’T a compact spot? There are none and if there is, they are several floors away in an area with safety concerns due to poor lighting and walking alone. Creating compact spots is shaming people who don’t drive little cars. Also, your claim about people who drive big cars being “trumpian” is idiotic and rude. Seriously, just because someone drives a larger car they are a Trump supporter? This is laughable.

    Creating so many compact spots Stems from greed. The owners (and WEHO) want more cars in the garage so they can make more money. They don’t care about the conveniences of anyone. Base the amount of compact spaces in your garage by doing a little research with the DMV before you build the garage and see how many people in the city actually do have larger cars, then build accordingly by percentage. If you want large cars to stop parking in compact spots, then give them more spots and make them convenient.

    Building compact spots is your way of trying to force people into submission and parking your larger car in them is a form of protest and a “f*ck you”. No one will ever tell me what I can drive. Everyone has different needs and wants and we all need to share this city, so stop forcing your views down people’s throats. Compromise, or expect this to keep happening. I’m not going to become a weho lemming just because you are trying to bully me to conform AND yes, that is exactly what you are trying to do.

    Trying to shame people with photos of their large cars parked in compact spots is bullying and WEHO is supposed to be above that. Everyone has something to “resist” against and if it doesn’t follow your views, then it is wrong. Go back and watch an episode of Sesame Street and learn the concept of “Compromise”.

    I recycle, I help people in need, I am kind and I even drink without a straw. I also happen to drive an SUV.

    Stop being a hypocrite.

    1. If you think that is bullying then I would bet dollars to doughnuts that you never went to public school. If I break the law and the sheriffs give me a citation, are they bullying me? I think not, and the same applies here.

      Shaming is the better keyword and if One can’t read the clearly displayed “compact” sign then one deserves to be shamed.

      I remember once I parked my scooter in a spot that a supersized SUV was attempting to park. She yelled that the words that a corporation went out of their way to paint on the ground didn’t matter. Well they mattered that day.

      Be well and please keep your oversized vehicle out of our compact spaces.

    2. Seriously? Your comment made me laugh. You are a victim for driving an SUV?

      Regardless of one’s political affiliation, if you drive an over-sized vehicle, then, boo-hoo, you have to look for a spot that fits it. I grew up in rural Oregon, where some people actually have the need for these things. I can’t believe people who drive these things here in our urban environment, when most have no need, or use for an SUV. Yes, some do, but most don’t. So, sorry, if you feel “bullied,” by your need for an SUV.

      The garage in question, as I mentioned in my previous comment (at 24 Hour Fitness), is antiquated. No matter what you think of that, there’s no excuse for someone taking two parking spaces, no matter what size car the person drives.

      When they taught us “compromise” on “Sesame Street” (I don’t remember this particular episode), I don’t think they were referring to parking over the line in a parking garage. In fact, I don’t think people were driving SUV vehicles at the time I was watching it.

  5. Stupid parking is my pet-peeve. However, it seems that parking spaces ARE getting smaller and smaller. Also, some of the above might not be as guilty as assumed becasue maybe when they parked like sh-theads it was because when they areived, there was already another person in the space next to them parked like a sh-thead. Just playing a bit of Devil’s advocate to be fair here.

    1. I’ve been there, before, where someone is bleeding into a space I want to park in. I didn’t return the rudeness by doing the same. I move on to another space.

      Now, if their driver’s side door is right next to the line of the space I’m parking in (on my passenger’s side), I have zero problem parking within 2 inches of their door, and making them crawl through the passenger side to get into their vehicle. If your vehicle doesn’t fit in between the lines, don’t park in the space. It is a simple as that.

  6. The most annoying parkers are those who park parallel to the curb and leave “almost” enough space behind or in front of their car for another car, but not quite. If they would consider that there may be plenty of room for another car if they pull up or back up to an existing car, the red curb line, or a driveway, far more people could find spaces for themselves. I watched a girl just today pull into a space by a driveway where if she had pulled up closer to the car ahead there would have been enough space behind her for another car. But she left enough space for half a car both behind her and ahead of her.

  7. Oh goodness, this is going to be fun, but for a full book one need only spend a half hour or so at the Trader Joe’s across from the 19 Hour Fitness on SMB. Would you like me to send you my photo directory of just such photos I’ve been collecting over the years?

    I fully agree with Manny’s litany of issues of bad public behavior. None of those underlying activities are inherently bad, it’s how people use them. The worst of the cellphone sounds in public are the people who play their music without headphones–I can’t count the number of times an otherwise peaceful and social outlet at Runyon has been marred by loud jams from multiple cell phones.

    I’ve also noticed a trend of people double-parking, or otherwise randomly parking wherever they damned well please.

  8. Sorry, but the parking spaces are just too small some places, so that is what is going to happen. Also, if you park, and the other cars are all askew, you sometimes have no choice but to park bad. But I will not squeeze my car into a teeny, tiny space, not going to do it. I will take two if I have to.

    1. KAB1200, autos, pickups, and SUVs are a ‘standard’ size. So are parking spaces.
      If you can’t fit, then you’re trying to stuff a standard-size car into a compact parking space.
      Don’t be rude, dear…

  9. A permissive society is a wonderful thing, but the downside is this crap! Some people have decided they’re not bound by rules, laws, or even courtesy. “I was in a rush” means “Tough sh-t, I was here first.” “This car is hard to park” means “I don’t know how to drive.” And my favorite: “What’s the big deal?” means “I don’t give a sh-t.”

    Manny is right- it’s the same with “service” dogs. There’s a real LA County Health Dept. law barring dogs from grocery stores and farmers markets, but there they are, everywhere, every day! Tell any owner about the law, and they’ll say, “What’s the big deal?”

    When I see a scooter heading at me on the sidewalk, I walk TOWARD them. COME AT ME, BRO. LET’S DO THIS!

  10. There’s been a web site for this for many years (it apparently went down). But still, a FB page:


    Not to defend these people in any way, but, specifically, the garage at 24 Hour Fitness is so outdated, that most of the spaces are marked “compact,” and anyone who drives one of those monster vehicles might have a difficult time parking in that particular garage. Not excusing them parking over the line, like that, but that place just sucks, as you said in your editorial. Didn’t you write an editorial about how you are only still a member of 24 Hour Fitness because it is within “walking distance?” If so, I’d suggest a walk, or a bike ride, or an “illegal” scooter.

    Parking is the number one reason why I usually don’t drive to that part of West Hollywood, day or night. I hate finding a spot, paying for a spot, dealing with potential construction closures, etc.. I tried to go to 24 Hour Fitness about 2 weeks ago and circled two times before I finally left, because all metered spots were taken, and that particular garage was marked as “full,” at 1 PM on a Wednesday or Thursday. Perhaps construction people are parking in that garage for that major development next door? That might be adding to the problem.

    I don’t think this is a “West Hollywood problem.” I think this is a problem with people who park like assholes, and in Southern California, this has been going on for more than the 21 years I’ve been here. And, antiquated parking structures. Thankfully, I drive a Jeep Wrangler, which fits into “compact” parking spaces.

    1. If the parking structure is full at that time of day, construction workers or not, imagine what it’ll be like once Sprouts opens.

      1. Do you know if they are adding parking as part of that project? I’d never go there to go to Sprouts, which I’m mixed on, and which we just got, 3 or 4 years ago, on La Brea.

        Parking is included in that development, by the way.

        I have a feeling that the 24 Hour Fitness is destined for closure, at some point, when their lease runs out. That probably explains why they manage it so poorly and don’t put any money into that place.

  11. Add to that the full parking lot at Smart & Final, only to go into an almost empty store. Are people parking in that lot only to go to Trader Joe’s across the street ?

  12. That is my car next to that Chevy Trail Blazer in photo 1 yesterday. Majority of people in that Smart & Final cannot park. And it doesn’t help that people are too f#*@!ing lazy to put the carts back and leave them in the parking area . Anyway, the guy in the Chevy, of course, left his cart against the wall of the store in the parking lot.

  13. Can vehicles with handicapped placards take up two spaces?
    Can City parking enforcement cite in private lots?
    Contact info for City parking enforcement for public areas so you can empower your readers?

    I’m not sure about the answers to these relevant questions, but I thought it would have been prudent they be addressed by the writer.

    1. Lingua – City parking enforcement CAN (and DOES) write citations for the disabled spaces (blue signs, blue painted lines, blue crosshatch) in private parking lots.
      Call them at (323) 650-9912, they’ll send an officer to issue a citation.

  14. Don’t get me started!

    This is of the most inconsiderate and self centered things anyone can do……add this to “service” dogs anywhere, sounds from smartphones in public places, not using a directional signal, and riding and parking scooters on the sidewalk.

    Makes you wonder how some of these people get through the day.

  15. When entitled capitalists come in possession of something, they suddenly think that makes them an expert when it comes to their control and, a complete denial of any responsibility as to the impact their entitlement may have on others. The reality is that many people on the West side of LA especially beverly hells do NOT really know how to drive or park their over sized obnoxious “status mobiles” or much of anything else for that matter. Even gang members in South or East LA do a much better job driving and parking in the midst of committing a crime than most West LA commuters, good driving keeps from attracting unnecessary attention from law enforcement. To make matters worse, most West LA residents are just too shy to ask an undocumented immigrant to teach them how to drive or park that new vehicle their family just bought them.

    Well some Gamers just might have a solution for the lousy drivers of West LA, check out City Car Driving the video game driving simulator! “City Car Driving” is a realistic car simulator, designed to help users experience car driving in а big city, the countryside and in different conditions or go just for a joy ride. Special stress in the “City Car Driving” simulator has been laid on a variety of different road situations and realistic car driving, even parking! Many LA drivers have serious trouble when it comes to driving in rain, this gaming simulation can seriously help with this (helpful hint, DON’T attempt to break any land speed records when it starts to rain). This even comes with full Virtual Reality support for your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive when you get City Car Driving on Steam. Now to learn the High Speed Tactical Escape and Evasion Driving that I was taught, would require a closed course with specialized instructors; for now I would be impressed if any West LA drivers learn to master “City Car Driving” the video game!

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