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The Almighty Buck Transportation Technology

In SF: an App For Auctioning Off Your Public Parking Spot 427

Posted by timothy
from the markets-in-everything dept.
trbdavies (979982) writes 'Only in San Francisco' used to refer to issues like whether public nudity should be restricted to certain hours of the day. Now I hear it most often in connection with the interplay between the city and tech companies. SF Weekly reports on one such development: 'Anyone who's visited San Francisco for 35 minutes knows that easy parking is a rare find. Enter Paolo Dobrowolny, an Italian tech bro who decided San Francisco was the perfect spot to test out his new experiment. Here's how it works: You find a parking spot, revel a little, let Monkey Parking know where you're located, and watch the bidding begin. Finally, give your spot to the wealthiest victim willing to pay the highest price for your spot. Drive away that much richer.'" Update: 05/08 15:52 GMT by T : I suspect that Dobrowolny's a tech pro, rather than bro, or at least that's what I suspect the Weekly meant to say.
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In SF: an App For Auctioning Off Your Public Parking Spot

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 08, 2014 @09:53AM (#46949231)

    You pay your parking fee to park there.
    You are not entitled to resell that right. Only the townhall can.
    And finally, I just need to locat the bidder, go there with my car first and wait for the parking fee(s) to expire.
    As soon as the car moves away, I get the spot. All legal!
    Ah!

  • This will end (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday May 08, 2014 @09:56AM (#46949273) Homepage Journal

    badly.

    Hording a public thing you do not own and then scalping it won't go well, and will be banned by the courts.

    And when you get in your car to leave, and I stop to get the spot, I sure as hell will not move just because you want to sell something you do not own to someone else. So there is a logistic issue.

  • Re:Vigilante (Score:3, Insightful)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @09:59AM (#46949301) Homepage Journal

    Or public transit, like a really civilized country.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 08, 2014 @10:08AM (#46949419)

    I don't understand wanting to live anywhere in California. It is absolutely INFESTED, in multiple ways. I routinely get inquiries from recruiters there and my response is always the same: "It sounds like a good opportunity, but no amount of money will entice me to live or work in the People's Republic of California. Thank you for your interest and good luck on your hire."

  • by Schezar (249629) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @10:18AM (#46949535) Homepage Journal

    You have to truck in everything and truck out everything,

    The suburbs also have to truck everything in and out: it's not like local farmland and local factories provide even a tiny percentage of the goods and foodstuffs used there.

    Rural areas also have to truck most things in and out, for mostly the same reasons. The way the world economy is structured, pretty-much EVERYTHING is trucked in and out from somewhere else. It's a myth that non-urban areas somehow are less reliant on the "outside" than urban areas.

    More to the point, there is a massive economy of scale in cities. New brings in goods in bulk, which then require minimal internal redistribution compared to, say, strip malls in suburbia.

    All of that aside, cities are where basically all jobs are. Why would anyone start a company that requires skilled workers in a place with a small talent pool? How many coders or engineers live in any rural town, or even within a day's commute of one? How many live within walking distance of a building in New York?

    Look at the job listings in any small town, and then look at the job listings in New York or Boston or San Fran. There's nothing to do in exchange for money in small towns and rural places for most of us. There's no career path at all.

    Hell, there's also just NOTHING TO DO. We live in New York because we can walk to one of two dozen brunch places on Sunday morning. We can see opera, musical theatre, the symphony, an off-broadway play, slam poetry, a puppet show, or basically anything we want any day of the week. Want to play an obscure German board game? Thousands of people live basically next do and also want to do so. How many people would be interested in that kind of game in a town of 2000 people?

  • by NemoinSpace (1118137) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @11:00AM (#46950007) Homepage Journal
    Culture is the guy who PLAYS the violin. People that scurry around in ovecrowded cities arguing over parking spots and the regulations thereof is... something else.
  • by praxis (19962) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @11:01AM (#46950009)

    I'm responding as if you meant "They probably don't display the location of the auctioneer until you've actually won".

    If they don't tell me the location of the spot, I'm not bidding. Parking spot location is the top datum required for a bidder to make a rational evaluation, followed closely by the size.

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @11:03AM (#46950039) Homepage Journal

    What if I want to go mountain biking? What if I want to go hiking? What if I want to plant a large garden? What if I want to launch high power model rockets? What if I want to ride my motorcycle without traffic? What if I want to rebuild an old car?
    It all depends on what you want to do. Opera? Not really my thing? They symphony? Yes but I can do that with a 30 minute drive and minimal traffic where I am at. Theater? The same.
    Of course I am not in a town of 2000 people but a town of 200,000 just 25 minutes from Palm Beach which is one of the richest cities in the nation so we get a lot of high end stuff. Did I mention that the crime rate is also very low and the air and water quality is very high?
    The ideal location depends on the person. Take a look at the job openings in Melbourne Florida, the Palm Beach area, and Fort Lauderdale. The company that I work for even has it's own fab.

  • by fizzup (788545) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @11:07AM (#46950089)

    Ultimately, this is an example of government not charging a high enough fee for use of a common public resource. There are lots of examples of this. Usually governments do this in order to provide the resource equally to all people, which is a noble and understandable goal. The downside risk is a tragedy of the commons, where common resources are used to depletion because there is no signal to the users that they are causing harm by depleting it.

    In our economic system, we use price as a scarcity signal for buyers and sellers. Price is a ham-fisted signal that is only marginally better than rationing but without using it at all, or by using it poorly, government has opened the door for a private company to create a market in something valuable - parking turnover. Should this application take off (a big "if") government's only practical response is to raise the price of parking to the point that turnover is so high that you can usually find a parking spot quickly without paying somebody to leave. That will be a really high price which will obliterate the goal of providing access to parking for people regardless of their economic situation.

  • by coinreturn (617535) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @11:46AM (#46950561)

    Ultimately, this is an example of government not charging a high enough fee for use of a common public resource.

    Or perhaps they're just not providing enough fucking parking places.

  • by bluegutang (2814641) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @01:08PM (#46951521)

    That's not actually ridiculous in this case. If you drove around in a bike/motorcycle locating empty parking spots and announcing their existence to prospective parkers (and then selling them), you would indeed be providing liquidity.

  • by coinreturn (617535) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @01:58PM (#46952167)
    So you think it better that taxpayers foot the bill for the parking infrastructure required by new and larger buildings? If the development exceeds infrastructure capacity it shouldn't be financially viable. That's how the mess got started.

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