Pershing Square, the often maligned (and thankfully soon to be redesigned) Downtown Los Angeles park, has been turning people off for decades now with its hideous postmodern design. What was once a quaint, green public space was cut off and isolated from the city streets in the 1950s by the addition of underground parking. Car culture had taken over, and the slow death of LA's central park had begun.
Now, due to the settlement in a class action lawsuit, the parking is perhaps the best feature Pershing Square is offering at the moment. Why? Because it's free! LA Weekly has the scoop on how a violation of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003 led to free parking in Pershing Square's underground lot.
Here's how you get that sweet, free parking space in the middle of Downtown. Park as you normally would, but when it's time to go back to your car, make a quick stop on level one. There should be a table set up where an employee is handing out blue parking vouchers. Sign your name in the binder and head out into Downtown, up to 16 bucks richer than otherwise.
Thrifty drivers can thank a woman named Ashley Solomon for the parking windfall. Apparently, for an indeterminate amount of time in 2014, when people paid for parking with a credit card, the garage was printing their entire credit card number on the receipt. People drove in and out, none the wiser that a crime was being committed. Solomon noticed, and filed a class action lawsuit against the garage. Since most people in their right mind don't save parking garage receipts from two years ago, the garage is paying out the settlement in free parking to all.
Be wary however. This is not a permanent arrangement. The terms of the settlement call for the garage to pay out $360,000 in damages, so once they've given out $360,000 worth of free parking, it's back to normal at Pershing Square. Garage employees tell the LA Weekly they've already been giving out the free parking vouchers for "about a month" now, so act fast.