To the Santa Monica parking office,

I ran into an absurd situation at the parking garage under the Main Library this afternoon. My attempt to reach you by phone resulted only in an endless voicemail loop, with no opportunity to talk to a human being.

Are you aware that it is the policy of the library garage to post the “full” sign whenever the two levels devoted to monthly parkers are full, regardless of the number of spaces left on the main level for cars looking to park for less than three hours? Yes, I know this seems so absurd as to be eligible for a satirical article in The Onion, but it is indeed true.

Having noticed three or four cars exiting the garage, I concluded that there had to be a few spaces despite the sign, so I entered the garage. There were dozens of empty spaces. When I mentioned to the toll booth attendant that the sign erroneously indicated that the garage was full, she told me, with a straight face, that because monthly parkers had complained that they couldn’t tell if their levels were full, it was now policy to display the “full” sign regardless of the number of spaces remaining for general use! Really? Can that possibly be official policy? It boggles the mind.

My understanding is that City Hall is trying to encourage locals and visitors to look beyond the structures at the Third Street Promenade. Way to go, folks, this should really help in that effort, right? I guess we locals may eventually realize that the “full” sign is meaningless, though it would certainly be helpful if you put out a press release advising everyone of this ridiculous policy. As for the tourists, forget it. How could they possibly know?

Surely, surely, the combined IQs of everyone in the parking department can think of a better idea than this one?

Policies don’t get much dumber.


Laurie Brenner

Santa Monica

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