AB 516 would have limited cities’ ability to manage the public right-of-way, including reducing traffic congestion on local streets and roads, preventing stormwater pollution runoff, limiting public works services such as waste management, promoting turn over for scarce parking spaces aimed at increasing patronage of brick and mortar businesses and preventing the storage of private vehicles on public roads as well as blight.
Specifically, AB 516 would have prohibited cities’ ability to:
- Immobilize or tow vehicles when vehicle owners fail to respond for at least three weeks to a minimum of five unpaid parking tickets;
- Immobilize or tow vehicles when vehicle owners fail to pay or appear in court for a minimum of five moving traffic violations; and
- Tow vehicles for a 72-hour violation, until a minimum of five business days have elapsed after a violation has already occurred.
72-hour parking time restrictions are a vital element in a city’s efforts to protect the public right-of-way. Protection of the public right-of-way allows residents to access the various facets of a city, including residential neighborhoods, government services, local businesses and city attractions. These provisions in AB 516 would have exacerbated blight and public safety hazards, especially in disadvantaged communities.
Ensuring that residents and visitors have access to their own homes or those of their relatives, city hall, parks, libraries, retail, restaurants and cultural epicenters is dependent on a city’s ability to adequately enforce these basic restrictions.
For these reasons, the League was strongly opposed to AB 516, making today’s decision to hold the bill in committee a major victory for California cities and their residents.