Curbed got wind of an email that is circulating among downtown business owners, investors, and residents, asking for support on an initiative to change the city's policy of not allowing cabs to stop at red curbed "no parking" lanes. Despite various efforts over the years by different groups to lobby the Department of Transportation and have the policy changed, it's still illegal to flag down a cab in Los Angeles. As part of this recent initiative, letters are being sent to Mayor Villaraigosa. UPDATE: Is it illegal or not? "In Downtown, it's illegal to hail a cab on the street."--Downtown News. "Although it is not technically illegal in Los Angeles to hail a taxi, it does not work practically because of major fines the City levies against taxis that impede traffic and park illegally to pick up patrons."--Hollywood Chamber of Commerce newsletter.
Honorable Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Office of the Mayor
200 N. Spring Street, 3rd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Re: “Hail-A-Taxi (H.A.T.)”, a Citizen Sponsored Initiative
Dear Honorable Mayor Villaraigosa,
In consideration of our shared goals for creating a vibrant 24-hour downtown, we, as the stakeholders and business voices of Downtown Los Angeles, would like to respectfully request that you consider allowing taxi cabs to temporarily stop at red curbed no parking lanes, just as many major metropolitan cities allow.
We acknowledge that as the city continues to move forward with your vision of “elegant density”, the overpopulation of individual automobiles is continuing to hamper the convenience in mobility, which lowers the city’s quality of life standards.
We believe a sound quality of life goal for a major metropolitan city is to accommodate its citizens with a variety of options for the conveniences in mobility.
In an attempt to mitigate the overpopulation of individual automobiles, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) manages several public transportation options including bus services that allow MTA buses to temporarily stop in no parking lanes.
We believe the same flexibility should be shared with private mobility services, such as taxis, to allow for temporarily stopping in no parking lanes.
Almost all major cities in the world allow for taxi cabs to share this privilege. We trust that you will make the same consideration for Los Angeles.
We appreciate your time and consideration.