Parking is the Pits At Popular Beach Cities in California!


Malibu’s Pier Sign advertises Malibu Sport Fishing Pier. A legal battle between California State Parks and an individual who sought to trademark the Malibu pier name for profit ended with the state winning. But what did they win? Malibu Pier is a great place to visit if you don’t mind looking for parking or paying for the rights to try to fish off the pier (free). Most anglers who fish free off piers don’t have money to spend on parking–so they walk a long distance or go to cities where the pier-close parking is free.

Malibu has some of the most beautiful and least accessible beaches on the California coast. Californians are accustomed to having full access to beaches, but some of Malibu’s coveted beach spots were staked out before the California Coastal Commission came along and said you can’t build homes on the beach anymore. As a result, a battle between the “haves” (wealthy Hollywood moguls such as Geffen) and “have-nots” has brought much attention to Malibu lately. The local residents continue to put up fake “no parking” signs so the public is left in a state of confusion and belief that it’s illegal to park near the beach in places where the local residents don’t want them to be.

As a result, access to these tantalizing beaches is sometimes close to impossible, unless you study up and read insider notes, or call City Hall to find out where there are places to park. One news story last week said that even the parking meter crew gets confused, sometimes giving tickets for parking in places where illegal signs have been placed. What a mess!

In Newport Beach this past week, we saw the contracted parking meter people in the Hawaiian shirts issuing tickets at Lido Isle Village to wedding delivery trucks parked in the red zone to unload cakes and items for the over 20 weddings that took place on the yachts there on Veteran’s Day. The contracted parking meter ticketing company proudly rolls back the bonus time on meters when a car leaves so that you won’t be able to enjoy a few free minutes courtesy of the previous person who paid to park.

California coastal cities, state parks and other entities say they want tourists and their dollars, but often do not supply affordable, easy access to attractions and amenities. As options for free parking are dwindling, we continue to visit cities that offer free parking. Once there, we buy food, clothing, gifts, groceries, and sometimes go to a service such as a salon. Those cities are getting our tax dollars instead of our very own city we’d love to support.

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