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parking space reservations

I decided to do what some others on 2k Bloggers have done: get to know my neighbors. I found a guy whose pic is to the left of my pic, and went to his blog. One of his posts mentioned a site that auctions parking spaces.

The site is spotscout. I read the "how it works" section not because I am looking for parking spaces (I am not using a car here in NYC) but because I am interested in parking innovations. The site allows you to register and then reserve a space, either on your PC or on your mobile device (a bit problematic when you consider many people might be doing this while driving). These spaces would typically be in a private garage or someone's driveway. The site shows you the distance from your destination in walking time, the type space, and other features of the spot, as well as the price. Thus if you need a space for 2:15 pm today, you can reserve it now.

The part that's a bit iffy is the "selling" of on-street spaces. These are public spaces and are therefore available to whoever gets there first. But a person who has secured one may "sell" his or her leaving time, so another car can be lined up, ready to take it. Just say no to this one. There are too many variables. The arriving car may get there early (probably would want to) and may be holding up traffic, waiting for the departing car to depart. Another car may get there first, one who is not signed up with spotscout. It's problematic. But the other part, the reservation of off-street spaces, this I like. It makes maximum use of available spaces, and offers them at the going rate. When you consider there are, as a conservative estimate, seven spaces for every vehicle in the US, you can see that what we need is not more spaces but better management of those we have, and prices that match the value. So I say yeah! to this part of the program.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 22nd, 2007 01:39 pm (UTC)
Hee! Reminds me of Chicago. In established old neighborhoods, people would reserve their onstreet spaces with orange traffic cones and boards, and people let them. It was the most amazing thing I ever saw.
Feb. 22nd, 2007 01:54 pm (UTC)
Now that, of course is just wrong. They don't own the spaces and they make them unavailable to others when they are not in them. The problem in that case is that the on-street spaces tend to be free or low-priced compared to the commercial garages. This needs to be fixed. We should pay what they are worth and not call on the general public to subsidize our love affair with cars.

Among my passions is the passion to change people's minds about parking spaces. I get up on my soapbox from time to time, as you can see...
Feb. 22nd, 2007 03:16 pm (UTC)
I just had a conversation yesterday with a Liberatarian about parking. He was using an argument that we pay more than fair market value for certain goods and that's not right. I said the more compelling argument to me for the same point is that we pay less than fair market value for things like parking. Most ofthe time it's free and the cost is shared amongst all people, not just those who have cars. That's unfair to the poorest people who can't afford cars. His reaction was funny to me because it highlighted his assumption that cars are necessary for a good life and a strong economy. He simply poo-pooed all other modes of transportation and even went so far as to claim that cars are efficient. Uh, hello? Pretty sure trains are more efficient.
Feb. 22nd, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
My point exactly! It's funny when the libertarians can't put their money where they mouths are.

I was thinking yesterday about people who grow up in NYC and never own cars and never need them. When they travel it must be, at times, horrifying. Have to rent a car (if they have a driver's license) or rely on inept public transportation or horribly slow and expensive cabs. I think a lot of people think this way of living has to be the norm, but it doesn't.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


Judith Lautner
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