My wife and I went to the LSU/Auburn football game, and parked in our normal area on Iowa Street near Taylor Street, behind Magnolia Mound. On the street, not in anyone’s yard. As we exited our car, a woman on a bicycle approached us exclaiming this was “her area” and parking there was $15. This is the same woman who attempted to get a “tip for security” after the previous week’s game. This is a public road, and no one should be allowed to charge to park on public property. This problem is slowly getting worse around LSU. It started with people charging to park in their yards and driveways; that’s reasonable. Now, people are charging to park on public roads. Even places on streets in front of someone’s home are technically public property and shouldn’t be allowed to be blocked off or sold by the adjacent homeowner.
Some of the areas behind Magnolia Mound are not in front of anyone’s home; some are beside a new student apartment complex. These spaces have been used for years, free of charge. Yet now, someone is extorting money from people who try to park there. After our run-in with the bicycle “security” person, whom we did not pay, I was forced to move my vehicle out of fear of it being vandalized during the game.
Other similar concerns are a vacant lot on the corner of Alaska and W. McKinley streets where an abandoned house once stood. Now, it’s an empty lot that someone has claimed as their parking lot to sell spaces. They may be the owner of the lot, but maybe not. If it’s owned by the city, these “parking squatters” shouldn’t be allowed to collect money there. On Alaska Street, there is a small power plant; beside it on a side street (either W. Grant or W. Garfield) is an abandoned concrete and fenced-in area, presumably owned by the city. This is a secluded area, and parking spots are being sold. I wonder about the city’s liability responsibility if someone, a paying “customer” or their vehicle is subject to a crime on city property?
Although I don’t live in Baton Rouge now, I did a few years ago. Having paid for public roads with my taxes, I don’t think I should have to pay a parking fee on public property/streets to anyone claiming to be security for watching my car. If my car is vandalized or broken into, will that “security” person be liable for the damages?
The Baton Rouge city police department needs to drive out anyone profiting off of public areas and shaking down those of us who choose to park off campus.