If you're a hybrid owner in LaLa land you are probably aware that for the past three years you have been allowed to park without feeding the meter and without any ticket worries. According to news articles from several different publications, this has changed. Depending on which version of the story you want to believe, the city has reversed itself on free parking because it has a huge budget shortfall of $500 million to make up and it needs every penny of the $114,000 (or one percent of total parking meter revenue) the program is estimated to cost. Or, behind door number three, we have the reasoning that, because the program has been so wildly successful, hybrids now run rampant city-wide, eating everything in their path. I feel I have to go with first excuse. Not because hybrids aren't capable of becoming crazed car killers because that could actually happen. Rather, if one percent of all potential parkers is your definition of a wild success, I'd be curious to hear what constitutes extremely mediocre.
But since L.A. is adjacent to Hollywood there may be a happy ending to this tale of parking woe. If you like to supplement your info intake by reading cool blogs then you may have read on the LAist that if you drive a Honda Insight, Honda Civic Hybrid, Toyota Prius,or Ford Escape Hybrid you can still park for free, even if you don't have a Clean Air Vehicle Decal. This happy ending may not last forever so pay attention to the blogs as well as the road.