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Academics Call New Getty Institute Parking Fees Elitist

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The Getty Center is raising the price of parking for academics and researchers who visit the Getty Research Institute and those academics and researchers are pushing back. The LA Times reports that the Getty Research Institute will begin charging "library readers" for parking on July 31: "The cost will be $15 per visit. The Getty is also selling parking passes, ranging from $50 to $275, that allow for various levels of unlimited parking." We're not sure what "various levels of unlimited" means, but a group of Getty Research Institute readers have posted an online petition asking J. Paul Getty Trust President and CEO James Cuno to cancel the parking fee plan, saying that there was little notice and that "To impose a parking fee on researchers will make the GRI’s resources less widely accessible. In a country where class divisions and differences in access are getting wider by the day, to create a similar gulf at the Getty is unconscionable. Moreover, this policy will discourage publications and dissertation projects that promote the GRI’s resources, and will jeopardize those projects already underway ... Make no mistake: although these fees are framed as 'parking passes,' they are users fees."

The petition also makes a good point about the lack of adequate transit alternatives to the Getty Center: "Public transportation to the Getty is limited and potentially unsafe, particularly for Extended Readers leaving the Institute late in the evening, and there are no bike paths to the Getty Center." The carpool lane currently being added to the 405 doesn't count. (Metro is, however, looking into transit options for the area, not that that's any help right now.)

In addition to all that hub bub, the LAT also reports that, starting July 31, the 2,000 average daily visitors to the Getty Center will now find an automated ticket system controlling the parking fees at the Getty's clusterfuck of a parking garage: "Under the new system, visitors will obtain a ticket upon entry to the Getty garage and will need to pay the parking fee at automated pay stations before leaving."
· Getty parking changes prompt online petition from academics [LA Times]
· James Cuno, President and CEO, J. Paul Getty Trust: Call Off the Parking Fees for GRI Readers [Change.org]