Imagine a world where an iPhone app sells public street parking spaces to the highest bidder. Imagine that app is horribly named—something like MonkeyParking. Wait, don't—sadly, a tech company already has, and the offending app will soon be launching in Santa Monica and possibly Beverly Hills, says LA Weekly. MonkeyParking, which lets drivers who are leaving street spots auction them off (typically for about $5 to $7), first launched and then was swiftly kicked out of San Francisco, where the city attorney ordered it shut down in June "on the grounds that auctioning public spaces is both dangerous and illegal." And it's probably going to be booted out of SaMo as well: "They do not have ownership of the space. That's unlawful. That's immoral. It's no different from a street bum [who] stands on a space, waves someone in and asks for a tip," admonishes the city's parking administrator.
In recent years, Los Angeles has been experimenting with ways to improve public parking (which they can be involved in, legally, because they own the spots) with projects like ExpressPark in Downtown that allow people to find and pay for spaces with their smartphones. There are also various companies like ParkMe that use real-time information to help people find parking and pay (THE CITY) for spots in areas like Westwood Village and, yes, even Santa Monica, via phone apps and websites. But really, where's the thrilling, eBay-like rush in paying a fixed, pre-determined price for a space that you know is presently available?
· Kicked Out of San Francisco, MonkeyParking App Plans a Fresh Start in Santa Monica [LAW]
· Experimental Downtown Parking Program Lowering Rates, Filling Spaces, Spreading to Westwood [Curbed LA]
· New Parking Map Reveals Loads of Parking in Westwood Village [Curbed LA]