Fighting the parking war

April 23, 2002

Theodore Angelus is trying to help people park on the Upper East Side, by linking up people leaving parking spaces with people looking for parking spaces, kind of like eBay for parking spots. Trading Spaces: A Parking Dream in a Pushy City

"I heard about this parking exchange," he said, "and I said to myself, It's never going to work. I said to myself, It's only a matter of time before someone gets shot."

So far, none of the club members are paying the projected monthly fee of $22.95 for the privilege of not finding a spot. Mr. Angelus is offering everyone who has signed up a free trial week in which to get parking information in the club's coverage area, from 65th to 86th Streets between Fifth and York Avenues.

I think this is a clever idea that's probably going to fail miserably because it's not going to reach the critical mass needed to suceed, mainly because it's going to break down at the times when demand exceeds supply, and more collective members are looking for spots than leaving spots. This, I assume, would lead to people stop subscribing or just stop calling when they're leaving spaces, since they rarely receive benefits. If this is refined, it could offer a great service. I think this suceeds, it is the kind of service that would be a perfect application for a location-based wireless service-- not only would you get a list of spots with their projected opening times, but also be notified when you have to move your car for alternate side of the street parking, but it's better that someone is starting this using two phone lines and a dry erase board before investing lots of money into creating a wireless infrastructure that's going to have an even lower chance of success, because fewer people have (or are willing to use) the client technology...

Posted by Andrew Raff at April 23, 2002 12:56 PM