Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Parkway use and abuse

Apologies (and thanks) to the several followers of this blog who noted my extended hiatus from invective. I have no excuse except an occasional Oblomov-like sense of futility. I'm back now and plan to pan with relish as the summer winds down.

* * * * * * *

As an avid driver, I still tend to think of a parkway as a "broad landscaped thoroughfare," in Webster's definition. The Burbank Boulevard between Sepulveda and Balboa sort of thing, for example.

But for the Los Angeles Department of Public Works, a parkway is defined as "the area of the street between the back of curb and the sidewalk that is typically planted or landscaped."

Whatever you call it, this strip of green fronting the street can add tremendously to the quality of a neighborhood.

Creative use of the parkway as a tomato and herb garden on Tremaine Avenue.

Alas, this absentee owner in Hollywood has let the parkway in front of her building become a mini-wasteland, complete with razorgrass, downed palm fronts, broken concrete curbs, and a shattered Panasonic television set that has been there since January.

Parkway as dumpway, Argyle Avenue.

Panasonic: "Ideas for Life"

Upkeep of the parkway is the property owner's responsibility, with consequences for neglect. (The above example will be remedied. Stay tuned for "after" pictures.)

The department's Bureau of Street Services has a downloadable Residential Parkway Landscaping Guideline brochure that spells it all out and also provides a list of suitable alternatives to turf and televisions.


  1. more posts please...

  2. I also thought "parkway" referred to a divided street or the strip of veg in the median of it-- oddly enough, I am just rereading The Big Sleep and Marlowe refers to the parkway in the way the Dept of Public Works does, i.e., between curb and sidewalk.

  3. Thank you for mentioning 'parkway' in Los Angeles terms.

    I received a parking citation two weeks consecutively. Why? "Vehicle parked in parkway". I was parked in the 'lower' section of my driveway. By this I mean the section of my driveway between the gutter and the sidewalk, which on our street is a little more than a car's length 'inland' from the curb. My vehicle was not overhanging either the gutter or the sidewalk. I can find no code, either municipal or state, that justifies calling this area of my property a parkway. Just another ploy by our Parking Violations Bureau (in reality Affiliated Computer Systems, a subsidiary of Xerox, Inc) to suck money from Angelenos. Their 'take' is 50%.
    I'm curious about what you have to say...

  4. Sorry for the delay in responding.

    I think you may have some legal recourse. According to City of Los Angeles Municipal Code:


    The driver of a vehicle shall not drive within any sidewalk area or any parkway except at a permanent or temporary driveway.

    You should take this to court. You were parked, I take it, at a "permanent driveway."

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