Sure rent prices might be off the charts in San Francisco, and people are protesting the tech industry and their buses. People are getting evicted from their homes, while Airbnb fights to keep a foothold.
But there’s something else that’s plaguing the city: lack of sufficient parking.
MonkeyParking seeks to alleviate the stress of circling the block for 20 minutes every time you need to buy more kale for your salad. You can bid on spots that are going to open up where you want to park. And, you can put your parking spot up for auction and watch as the bids start coming in.
Currently the app is only available in San Francisco and Rome (as in Italy — the app’s founders are Italian), but it’s possible that if it catches on, it will roll out to other cities.
While many would agree that there’s a need for such an app, the city might not be happy with the private auctioning of public property. San Francisco is already losing money on its parking situation — in fact, the Municipal Transportation Agency recently gave up $US11 million in annual revenue when it voted to go with Mayor Ed Lee’s plan to stop charging for Sunday meters.
It’s likely that the app could come under scrutiny from city authorities.
The thing is, a ridiculously large portion of the 49 square miles in San Francisco is set aside for parking cars. And what the city owns, it hardly charges enough for. The SFPark program introduced in 2010 has used a different method to achieve goals similar to those stated by MonkeyParking, which is to assure parking availability even during busy times: By increasing the cost of the most popular spots. But that money goes straight to the SFMTA, which perpetually needs it for things like paying the Police Department millions for “security services” — as it should, because that land and the infrastructure improvements on it are public property.
Still, it’s an interesting concept that seems like a quick way to make a buck.
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