I would like to discuss the new street-sweeping parking restrictions. In my neighborhood, near Fanning Elementary, the street sweeper comes every Monday between 12 and 12:30. Since we are picking up our son from Kindergarten at 12:15, we get to observe the sweeper in action each week and I'd like to share some of our observations. But first, I'd like to point out that the City Council's promise to sweep around the school's schedule is a broken promise.

Another broken promise is that the ticketing agent will not issue a ticket unless she directly observes the sweeper driving around a parked car. My neighborhood is filled with short cul-de-sacs and the sweeper is almost always a street or two ahead of the ticketing agent. Although she wasn't watching the sweeper, she still tickets cars that she assumes were in the sweeper's path. Since the only "solution" offered to residents with inadequate parking is to listen for the street sweeper and move our cars as it comes, it is troubling to know that we can still be ticketed if we park immediately after the sweeper has left since the ticketing agent doesn't need to personally witness the alleged violation.

Yesterday, while waiting for kindergarten to let out, my husband watched three of our neighbors come home for lunch within a 10-minute period. They each got out, starting walking and then heard the sweeper lurking somewhere in the neighborhood. They each got back in their cars and moved them to the Fanning parking lot so they could eat lunch in peace. I suppose they are the lucky ones, since they live so close to the school lot, but that's bad news for the Fanning parents and volunteers who may now be forced to park illegally. This weekly game of musical cars serves as a reminder of how intrusive the new parking restrictions are on Brea residents' daily lives. Still, the City Council doesn't get it and refuses to discuss the issue.

I would like to present a simple scenario and ask the Council to offer its advice. Consider a stay-at-home mom who has a baby that naps each morning from 9-10:30, which happens to also be the time when the street sweeper comes to her street. This mom has no driveway and requires street parking for her car, so she is parked illegally on street-sweeping day. What is this mom supposed to do? Should she wait quietly and listen for the sweeper and leave her sleeping baby alone in the house while she moves her car? Should she put her baby down for a nap in the car so she can move it when the sweeper comes? Does the baby not get a nap on street sweeping day? Can she avoid ticketing by calling the Watch Commander each week and asking for an exemption? The City Council's standard response is that it's up to each resident to figure out how to comply with the new parking restriction, but that response is unacceptable. If you can't come up with a reasonable solution for this mom, then you need to go back to the drawing board and fix this flawed ordinance.

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