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LA's parking signs get a redesign, but are they any better?

Street graffiti art is seen on a wall in a parking lot in downtown Los Angeles, May 1, 2012.
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
Street graffiti art is seen on a wall in a parking lot in downtown Los Angeles, May 1, 2012.

The parking signs around Los Angeles may soon be permanently replaced with simple grids that use color blocks to show when to park, if a six-month, $20,000 pilot project, unveiled this Friday, and sponsored by the city is well-received by the public. 

Councilman Paul Krekorian, who pressed the council to try the short-term sign makeover, said even he can be confused by the signs.

"No stopping at one hour, no parking at another hour, tow away zone, street sweeping restrictions, so forth, all in a single spot," he said. "In many places in Los Angeles there are overlapping parking restrictions that make it very confusing for people to determine if it’s legal to park in that particular place, at a particular hour, on a particular day."

So is this better?

The new signs have columns to show the days, horizontal lines to show time, and colors to signify when to park: Green, yes; Red, no. And the colors also have textures to help colorblind people interpret the no-parking times.

Elizabeth Mendes said she got a ticket parking downtown a month ago. She said the parking signs can be hard to read and understand. Shown a sample of a new test sign, she found it to also be difficult reading at first. But within a few seconds, she had figured it out.

"It’s a little bit confusing but straight to the point," she said.

Barbara Suther looked at the parking grid sign and found it harder to interpret than the traditional signs.

"I have a couple of degrees and I can't make head nor tail of it," she said.

What do you think?

(Caption: At left, an L.A. parking sign as it currently exists in the wild. At right, the new 'grid' signs as they appear in downtown L.A. Photo courtesy of NBC 4)