To live and park in L.A.: the street cleaning challenge

Signs can be confusing, but failure to move for sweepers generates tens of thousands of tickets every month
City Life

Illustration of parking in Los Angeles


One of the most frustrating aspects of life in Los Angeles is getting a parking ticket. What makes the slip on the windshield doubly infuriating is when it’s avoidable.


Take street cleaning, and the ubiquitous signs that prohibit parking on one side of the street for a couple hours one day each week, and the other side on a different day. Many people have argued that a proliferation of confusing signs makes it difficult to determine when one can park and when the car must be moved.


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In the first half of 2024, the city issued 241,881 citations for parking in a street cleaning zone, according to publicly available Los Angeles Department of Transportation data. That accounts for 26.25% of the approximately 922,000 tickets handed out. It is more than any other parking infraction.


Bark chart of most common parking ticket infractions in los Angeles in first half of 2024.


The fine for parking in a street sweeping zone is $73. If every ticket given out in the first half of 2024 were paid on time, it would amount to $17.6 million in revenue for the city.


There is a notable consistency in the pace of dispensing street cleaning tickets. In each of the past three years, the Jan. 1–June 30 total was in a narrow range around 240,000 citations.


The count was far lower in 2020, when parking restrictions were relaxed after the onset of the pandemic. But as with overall traffic citations, the 2024 figure is well below the total in the equivalent period in the 2010s. As Crosstown has reported, the decline has been attributed in part to open positions in the LADOT’s traffic enforcement ranks.


Bar chart comparing number of street cleaning parking tickets given out in Los Angeles in the first six months of each year from 2018-2024


The monthly pace is also fairly steady. In March, April and May there were between 42,300 and 42,950 such citations written each month. The count in June was 40,129.


Only three times in the last 18 months has the monthly number dropped below 38,000.


Line chart of monthly street cleaning parking citations from Jan. 2023-June 2024


The trouble with Thursday

According to the city Bureau of Street Services, there are 4,700 “curb miles” in Los Angeles where “No Parking” signs instruct residents to make way for street sweeping. The department notes that staff shortages mean that streets once swept every week are now cleaned biweekly. 


Angelenos can register online to get notifications before their street is swept. Notices are sent 48 and 24 hours in advance of the cleaning.


It is no surprise that a handful of densely populated neighborhoods generate the greatest number of street sweeping tickets. From Jan. 1–June 17 (the latest day for which data is available), Venice topped the list, with 8,437 citations, according to LADOT data. Ranking second was Boyle Heights, with 7,450 tickets.


Table of Los Angeles neighborhoods with most street cleaning parking tickets form Jan. 1–June 17, 2024


There is a perhaps unexpected imbalance to the days tickets are handed out: In the first half of 2024, more than 55,000 citations were dispensed on Thursdays. Only about 35,000 street sweeping tickets were given out on a Monday.


How we did it: We examined publicly available parking citation data from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation from Jan. 1, 2018–June 30, 2024. In making our calculations, we rely on the data the LADOT makes publicly available. LADOT may update past reports with new information, or recategorize past reports. Those revised reports do not always automatically become part of the public database.


Learn more about our data here. Or write to us at