At two Eagle Rock area polling places, voters are being discouraged from coming to the polls due to a prohibition on parking. The problems exist at two local Eagle Rock schools where polling places are located.
An on-site inspection at both Eagle Rock High School and Dahlia Heights Elementary showed permanent signage identifying the streets in front of the schools as no-parking zones during school hours of 7am to 5pm. This surely will serve dissuade all but the most diligent voters access to their polling place. (In previous years temporary signage was put up notifying voters it was OK to park there to vote)
The poll captain at Eagle Rock High was concerned but had not notified anybody of the problem as of 12 noon. She lamented that the school officials had switched the location of the polling place from the gym to the lobby of the auditorium without any prior notice. Stacie Smith at the L.A. County registrar recorder’s office seemed unconcerned about the parking, but said she would call the school to have them open the gate to the parking lot. (Which was already completely full except for the two curbside voting spots that were identified there.)
The poll captain at Dahlia Heights said there was no parking allowed in front of the school because it was to be used only for the pick-up and drop off of students.
A call to CD14 Jose Huizar’s office confirmed that the L.A. City Parking enforcement was on “relaxed enforcement” for polling places, which was a continuation of previous election day policy, but the fact remained that there was no signage notifying that it was OK to park there.
A call to Bill Hacket of the Arroyo Democratic club confirmed that the parking prohibition was indeed a problem. He said he would look into it immediately, and in a few minutes I got a call from Patty Horton of Congressman Adam Schiff’s office. I explained the situation again and she agreed it was a problem, promising to try to get the county registrar-recorder to address the problem.
Patty Horton did indeed get back to me. She had apparently got on the phone to county election officials and convinced them they had to do something about the parking problems at these polling places. She said they were sending the County Sheriff to make sure the problem was corrected.
She asked me to call her back if the issues were not resolved by 4:00 pm.
I checked through out the aftenoon, and did not see any sheriffs or that anything had changed, except that by 4:00 pm, after school was let out and the teachers were heading home, plenty of parking spaces opened up at the high school for voters, and of course, at 5:00 pm the street parking restriction ended anyway.