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LA Department of Transportation Will Install Special Parking Zones to Ease Food Pick-Up

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The special zones can be installed free of charge to restaurants

Jessica Koslow drops food into a car outside her restaurant Sqirl in Virgil Village.
Jessica Koslow drops food into a car outside her restaurant Sqirl in Virgil Village
Wonho Frank Lee

LA Department of Transportation issued a statement on Thursday evening that it would install temporary parking zone signs outside of restaurants to ease the picking up of takeout food for customers. Restaurants can apply for the parking zone signs on the department’s website, which will allow ten minutes of unfettered parking for cars waiting to receive takeout food.

The new short-term parking should ease the way for restaurants and other food providers to deliver food to customers while dining rooms are closed due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Once the application is approved, the department says that it will print and install signs within two business days, though with thousands of restaurants battling to stay in business during the crisis, it could potentially take longer for places to receive their temporary parking zones. It’s unclear how long the zones will be effective, as the state of California currently has a “Safer at Home” mandate until April 19, at the least.

On March 16, LA mayor Eric Garcetti had already relaxed parking measures across the city, including easing off the enforcement of street sweeping restrictions in residential areas and closed schools. In addition, Garcetti put a 60 day freeze on parking fines and extended deadlines to pay fines to June 1. The move to install special parking zones expands on Garcetti’s extended grace period for people dropping off or picking up groceries and other essential goods in the city. “Lifting these restrictions makes sense when more people are staying home, need additional time to run errands, and want to practice safe social distancing without being concerned about a ticket,” said the mayor regarding the relaxed parking enforcement.

Currently restaurants are required to close dining rooms and only operate takeout and delivery, though increasingly more restaurants are electing to shut down operations altogether to limit staff exposure to COVID-19. Just today, Republique and sister restaurant Petty Cash taqueria announced it would cease its takeout menus by the weekend, though Republique will continue to sell pastries, breads, and pantry goods.

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