Parking is at a premium in Los Angeles, given how much we all rely on driving. This is why on Is It Any Good it gets its own section.

Nobody walks in L.A., certainly not me, and certainly not you. If you’re here as a visitor, or living here full time, you’re driving.

Unlike the cities of the East Coast, who’s very structural foundations were built with Mass Transportation in mind, Los Angeles was built with…well, something else in mind.

I have no…actual proof that Freeways were a concept fostered by Evil Toons, but…having driven on L.A.’s for the last 20 years, who am I to say?

But that’s just driving, you’ve got a whole ‘nother problem once you get to where you’re going…parking.

Basically, Parking in Los Angeles breaks down into three categories Street Parking, Garage Parking and Valet Parking, all with varying levels of cost depending on where you go.

Street Parking is the way to go if you feel secure enough to leave your car whenever you’ve found a space. Oft times there are meters involved, so have some coins or a credit card handy. My ruling has always been, don’t leave your car any place you don’t feel comfortable climbing back into it. Also, be mindful of the Parking Signs. Usually, when a street is open and empty, and otherwise too good to be true, it usually is. There are neighborhoods to require permits to park in them, and ignoring that warning is a good way to get an expensive ticket.

Garage Parking is usually my preferred option. Of course, it’s going to depend where you’re going if that option’s available to you. The costs vary wildly. Some places are inexpensive to free, others seem to require you sign over your mortgage to them. I like the option because there is some sense of security, and if you can get in and out in a certain period of time, all the better because it’ll be free. It wouldn’t hurt to consult the website of the place you’re going to see what options they have. Failing that, there’s always Is It Any Good.

Valet Parking is my least favorite option because it involves two things I don’t like: spending a lot of money and letting someone else handle my car. Sometimes, you’re not going to have any other choice, and the Valet is always better than a parking ticket, but make sure you have some cash before you go, for both the fee and the tip (these guys gotta earn a living, you know). If you’re worried about a Ferris Bueller-like experience, don’t be.

There’s nothing more damaging to any businesses’ reputation than relying on substandard Valet service. That kind of word gets around, and fast.

So, if you need Parking information, or just a few tips, we’ll have ’em for you.  We’ll also be posting all the Parking Maps we can get ahold of:

Downtown Burbank Parking Map
Downtown Glendale Parking Map
Downtown Santa Monica Walking Map
Old Town Pasadena Parking and Valet Map

Comments / Tips / Questions?