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

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the markets-in-everything dept.

The Almighty Buck 427

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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"Tech bro"? (5, Funny)

Scareduck (177470) | about 4 months ago | (#46949187)

"Tech bro"?

Go home, Slashdot, you're drunk.

Re:"Tech bro"? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949309)

Not drunk, just stupid.

Thank God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949489)

Thank God this was the first comment. The entire post induced smdh but that was just over the top.

Re:"Tech bro"? (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#46949621)

I was sad the the "Italian tech bro" was named Paolo and not Mario.

Legally questionable, doomed to fail! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#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!

Re:Legally questionable, doomed to fail! (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 4 months ago | (#46949649)

Also, people may go violent on this.

Re:Legally questionable, doomed to fail! (3, Funny)

HideyoshiJP (1392619) | about 4 months ago | (#46949761)

I would call you a luddite for not bidding with the app, but since you used the app to legally circumvent the bid process, you're hip and cool.

Re:Legally questionable, doomed to fail! (5, Interesting)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 4 months ago | (#46949817)

Not legally questionable at all - you are being paid to vacate a spot, not resell anything you have purchased from the city.

Not sure what you mean by "locating the bidder" - I assume you mean "locate the spot occupier who is auctioning the spot vacancy", which is far from easy as their location would be hidden behind the apps paywall (with the minimum information you would have up front being the general area the spot is located in, so you aren't bidding on something 10 miles away from where you want to visit), so you would have to win the auction, pay up and only then get the parking spots actual exact location.

Besides, waiting on a public highway for anywhere up to an hour for a parking spot to be vacated isn't exactly what I would call "winning" in your scenario...
 

Squatting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949233)

Yes, lets encourage people to just let their cars sit there until you pay them.

I'm starting to hate this town. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949249)

SF Municipal Transit Authority has understood how to screw people for needing to park for decades. Now there's an app for that, yay.

Vigilante (-1, Troll)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 4 months ago | (#46949257)

Hopefully a vigilante steps forward and shows up only to put a bullet between the eyes of these assholes.

Re:Vigilante (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 months ago | (#46949289)

Oh stop it. There are enough short sighted assholes who jump to violence. Don't be one.
How about we use the court system? you know like a civilized country.

Re:Vigilante (3, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#46949301)

Or public transit, like a really civilized country.

Re:Vigilante (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949387)

If the average Yuropean has access to awesome Detroit steel, they wouldn't ever want to get on a bus or commuter train ever again.

Re: Vigilante (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949619)

Sorry, we "Yuropeans" (what's that?) don't like rust. But we like spelling, grammar, busses, trains, (and economic cars), disarmed people, welfare, public healthcare, and everything else sane that scares America. Thank you.

Re:Vigilante (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949637)

...mainly because they could park TWO cars in the same space a stupid SUV uses :-P.

Re:Vigilante (1)

CRCulver (715279) | about 4 months ago | (#46949667)

Why do you think public transportation is a European thing? In Hong Kong or Tokyo even relatively wealthy people take the train to work just like everyone else.

Have you ever been to Europe? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949789)

What I loved aout Europe was there wasn't a need for a car - unlike here in the most of the States. Not having to worry about parking or getting booted or towed or feeding the meter or .....

People bitch about European taxes. Well, take you car payment, insurance, maintenance, gas, registration, emissions testing and eliminate them.

You now have how much left per month? $400 - $500 - more?

And let's mention the reduction of stress from having to deal with all the chores associated with that car. I have to make time to go and get my car checked for emissions - and it'll pass - but I have to do it for the "privalege" of driving - even though it IS a nessessity here in the States.

Back to taxes...

Add in a single payer medical system - not this Obamacare crap - and those high European taxes do not seem so bad.

They are not perfect, but they have solved some social problems a bit better than we have.

Re:Vigilante (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949701)

Since when cattle transportation systems are considered a sign of being civilized?

Re:Vigilante (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949847)

"Nobody drives in New York. The traffic's too bad." - Fry

Re:Vigilante (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46949335)

We're talking SF here, not civilized countries.

Re:Vigilante (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949687)

Oh stop it. There are enough short sighted assholes who jump to violence. Don't be one.
How about we use the court system? you know like a civilized country.

Shut the fuck up, no one gives a fuck about what you say, bitch.

New Job Market? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949263)

Wonder if you'll start having people drive around all day looking for prime parking just to auction it off...
Could you make more doing that than a minimum wage job in the city?
Wonder how high some of the auctions will get...

That's annoying! (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 4 months ago | (#46949265)

So, somebody can take a 9-to-5 worker's slot in the parking lot 3 minutes before they get there, and the employee has to pay the "parker" whatever they want for the spot, or risk losing their job? This one stinks so bad it needs a local ordnance. Is the California Legislature in session?

Re:That's annoying! (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 months ago | (#46949311)

That can happen now, this app doesn't really change that, but I will point out that if it's a public spot, then it really isn't that workers spot to expect to be open.

They are selling something the don't own, so it won't be around long.

Re:That's annoying! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46949379)

Selling something you don't have, that's reserved to the state. If you do it, it might be a sham.

Re:That's annoying! (2)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 4 months ago | (#46949439)

You misread. Public doesn't mean state-owned here... it's a privately owned first-come-first-serve system that's getting abused. Same thing happens at the stock market sometimes... it's a "you wanted this, but I'm buying it first and then will sell it to you... PROFIT!"... but usually quickly destroyed by new laws or market rules.

Re:That's annoying! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46949557)

At the stock exchange, I think such a scheme is called "options" [wikipedia.org] .

Re:That's annoying! (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 4 months ago | (#46949655)

Wrong word. Try "arbitrage". Wikipedia is a little off on the definition of this word here... it's any time where you buy something with the intention of too-quickly selling to make a profit. That's hard and usually takes some foul play to make happen, remember the "I want to sell what I just bought" auction ad for a stock market company. Really, Wall Street should have rules preventing that... high-frequency-trading is really a ping time race at NASDAQ, and the NYSE has specialist saying "these papers got to me at the same time".

Yep, NASDAQ's computer declares somebody 100 ns ahead the one that should process first, and NYSE calls it a "tie" and averages out the prices if there's a difference.

Re:That's annoying! (1)

Rick in China (2934527) | about 4 months ago | (#46949615)

Semantics. You could easily say you're not selling the *spot*, you're selling your willingness to depart from the spot, and it just so happens the person who paid you to leave is waiting to occupy the spot upon your departure.

Re:That's annoying! (1)

CreatureComfort (741652) | about 4 months ago | (#46949721)

Exactly!

/csb Once when I was running late to an exam, someone pulled into a spot at college right in front of me, that I had been trying to get around to as the previous parker was pulling out. I offered the person who had just taken the spot $20 if they would pull out and let me take it so I could get to my exam on time. They took the $20, I got the spot, and got to the test on time.

I could so see using this app at my old university.

Re:That's annoying! (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 4 months ago | (#46949447)

They are selling something the don't own, so it won't be around long.

Well, that should kill the real estate market, especially after all that mortgage fraud going around. The banks are selling stolen property.

Re:That's annoying! (1)

pla (258480) | about 4 months ago | (#46949519)

They are selling something the don't own, so it won't be around long.

No, they have sold something they do own - Their own time, spent camping in the spot while people bid. As you point out, you can already do what TFS describes, without an app... You just won't optimize your revenue without the ability to list it in a place where a large number of bidders can compete.

Realistically, I really don't see how SF could outlaw this without accidentally banning just about every "we waste our time so you don't have to" service already in existence.

Re:That's annoying! (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 4 months ago | (#46949375)

Is the California Legislature in session

Unfortunately, they are ALWAYS "in session" (numerous paid absences aside).

Re:That's annoying! (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 4 months ago | (#46949481)

If that's the policy, can anybody reading this in California tell the legislature they we need a new law doing something to disrupt this scheme? it's close to the point it gets declared "scam".

Re:That's annoying! (1)

Schezar (249629) | about 4 months ago | (#46949571)

If you take a page from how High Frequency Traders justify their actions, then just explain this as perfectly reasonable arbitrage between the market of people who have parked and people who are looking to park!

Re:That's annoying! (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 4 months ago | (#46949669)

Yep... High Frequency Traders practice arbitrage. The rest of the market doesn't like when arbitrage happens. It either fails as not profitable, but if it is a rule quickly springs up.

Perfect for every kind of cunt (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949271)

I love this idea!

It helps to connect the rich cunt demographic with the thieving cunt demographic.

Leaving less cuntiness in the world for non-cunts.

Re:Perfect for every kind of cunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949285)

Your comment is cunt-tastic! I give it four and a half cunts.

Re: Perfect for every kind of cunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949331)

Ok you two, cunt it out right now before someone gets hurt.

Re:Perfect for every kind of cunt (0)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 4 months ago | (#46949793)

SF has fewer parking spots than cars. That is a fail for the city planners and people are forced to pay illegally every day because there are simply no legal spots left.

Faced with the problem of having to spend a long time looking for parking, why not pay somebody to do it for you? I bet you pay people all the time in order to save time in one way or another and you don't consider yourself a cunt.

Re:Perfect for every kind of cunt (1)

Arker (91948) | about 4 months ago | (#46949825)

"SF has fewer parking spots than cars. That is a fail for the city planners and people are forced to pay illegally every day because there are simply no legal spots left."

Sounds like a good reason to move somewhere less crowded to me.

"fail for the city planners"

Department of redundancy department.

This will end (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 months ago | (#46949273)

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.

how is it hoarding or scalping? (1)

Chirs (87576) | about 4 months ago | (#46949369)

Assuming they're paying for parking and not staying longer than they're allowed to, how is it "hoarding"?

And how is it "scalping"? They're merely offering to delay leaving their spot if someone pays them to do so. Basically they're selling their time.

Ultimately I think the app would need to give the general location to everyone, but the exact spot should only go to the individual selected by the person leaving the spot.

Re:how is it hoarding or scalping? (2)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 4 months ago | (#46949599)

Nonsense! Let's analyze:

Assuming they're paying for parking and not staying longer than they're allowed to, how is it "hoarding"?

You're right there... hoarding is the process of taking too many. But that doesn't match the article. The story here is that they're taking the last one, then offering to move on for money... but that's also known as "scalping".

And how is it "scalping"? They're merely offering to delay leaving their spot if someone pays them to do so. Basically they're selling their time.

You got that backwards... they're not delay leaving, they're threatening to keep there to the point it causes a time-sensitive worker a problem like job loss.

Ultimately I think the app would need to give the general location to everyone, but the exact spot should only go to the individual selected by the person leaving the spot.

No, the app has to identify where the spot is so people can determine how valuable it is... but wait, it isn't their property. It's a space their renting, with the purpose of reselling. Check the back of the ticket. If it doesn't have a contract or TOS on the back... what kind of ticket is it?

Re:how is it hoarding or scalping? (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | about 4 months ago | (#46949725)

I think the delay is more likely. Nobody is going to sell a spot they need. They'll sell it to someone else, and then have to stay around until the buyer arrives. You can't sell it to someone and then just leave, allowing some third party to take the spot you sold.

And that's the crux of the problem -- it's public parking, so you have no right to keep someone from parking in it. It's not yours, so you can't sell it. Selling that which one does not own is fraud.

Re:how is it hoarding or scalping? (0, Offtopic)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 months ago | (#46949791)

The story here is that they're taking the last one, then offering to move on for money... but that's also known as "scalping".

We pay athletes to move for money. That's not scalping.

Re:how is it hoarding or scalping? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#46949623)

And how is it "scalping"? They're merely offering to delay leaving their spot if someone pays them to do so. Basically they're selling their time.

... and the first time someone leaves a spot as soon as the check clears, and someone who didn't pay swipes it, the fraud lawsuits will ensure that this "service" ceases to exist.

Re:how is it hoarding or scalping? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949629)

Maybe not hoarding cause they didn't individually take up all the spots, but how is scalping any different from what you described? You buy a ticket for a concert and you sell your seat for more than you bought it by waiting at the concert cause there are no seats left... cause scalpers took them all.

Re:how is it hoarding or scalping? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949653)

> They're merely offering to delay leaving their spot if someone pays them to do so. Basically they're selling their time.
No they're not. It looks like you don't understand intent, they wouldn't be staying as long if they didn't think someone would pay.

> Ultimately I think the app would need to give the general location to everyone, but the exact spot should only go to the individual selected by the person leaving the spot.
No, communal, state-owned, or city property, shouldn't be subject to additional rentiering.

Re:This will end (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 months ago | (#46949383)

Just use the app, find the spot, then park behind them until they move and refuse any sort of payment, preventing anyone else from having a shot at the parking spot.

That'll pretty much end the problem fairly quickly.

Do what now? (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 months ago | (#46949775)

Just use the app, find the spot, then park behind them

I think here we have the very definition of "unclear on the concept".

If there ever WAS parking behind them, they wouldn't be able to sell the spot now would they?

That spot behind them was claimed last week...

Re:This will end (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46949391)

Worked out for water and land. But I guess it's different when you're a corporation.

Re:This will end (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949513)

Corporation? You're really blaming the wrong party there, pal.

Re:This will end (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46949563)

Really? Usually when you shoot at corporations, you rarely hit an innocent party.

Re:This will end (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949399)

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

What about patents on genome? Next you say that a digitally refurbished version of public domain music/videos doesn't deserve copyright.

Not Just Parking.... (1)

Subgenius (95662) | about 4 months ago | (#46949417)

Actually, a form of this has been going on in San Diego for some time, but with golf tee times. Torrey Pines is a public golf course that the PUBLIC gets to use. Each and every damn morning, two or three groups (with a dozen or so low-income/shelter 'contractors') phone in and grab ALL of the daily tee times. These folks then turn around and sell them for 3x to 5x the normal public price.

The city can't do a damn thing about them, since each reservation is under a different name......

Re:Not Just Parking.... (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about 4 months ago | (#46949493)

Why don't they require that ID be presented when showing up for the game, and that it match a name used to make the reservation?

Re:Not Just Parking.... (3, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | about 4 months ago | (#46949495)

The city can't do a damn thing about them, since each reservation is under a different name......

There must be more to it than that. Either there is some restriction in the local laws preventing them implementing measures against this or they can't be bothered and are claiming they can't to shift the blame to someone else.

One obvious measure to make this much harder for example would be to require users bring ID that matches the name under which the booking was made preventing post-hoc sales of bookings.

Re:This will end (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 4 months ago | (#46949475)

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

Damn, I wish we would apply that to the IRS and the banks.

Re:This will end (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949511)

I'm sure people more pissed off than you can easily use the app, find some seller, and just vandalize his car without even wanting to "buy" the parking spot.

Re:This will end (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949533)

And how long will you be willing to wait while they don't leave the spot? If they're hoarding the spot for profit, then the worst you can do is make the person who was "buying" it leave and ruin a transaction (which is worth it in its own way) but they don't currently have to leave if they didn't actually have a schedule to keep by getting somewhere.

Innovative Concept (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949281)

This is an interesting idea. It creates a possibility of earning a living simply by being a douchebag, driving around, taking spots and auctioning them off. If you ride a motorcycle, you could use its zip and maneuverability, as well as lower operating costs, to really clean up - or even create an enterprise by having a team of such bikes working for you. I like it.

I imagine this will not play well in the insanity of the People's Republic of California - esp. in SF, land of the "we don't like these super efficient busses operating because.......our rents our high!".

My gut: the fascists will not delay in making it illegal to sell your parking spot.

Re:Innovative Concept (5, Funny)

CRCulver (715279) | about 4 months ago | (#46949343)

This is an interesting idea. It creates a possibility of earning a living simply by being a douchebag, driving around, taking spots and auctioning them off.

High-speed parkers provide liquidity, you insensitive clod!

That's not funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949625)

It's insightful.

Re:Innovative Concept (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949685)

But not as much as they used to before airbags were invented.

There is only one solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949299)

Leave SF. If you can't afford it, it means you're not supposed to be living there. Period! The US has so much freaking landmass and other cities. I'm convinced that SF has reached economic critical mass for the majority of people living there or thinking of living there. There's only so much space to go around.

Expect this to get shut down faster than Uber (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949321)

You can't sell public property.

Re:Expect this to get shut down faster than Uber (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | about 4 months ago | (#46949521)

Your not selling the spot, your selling your time to sit and wait to move your car until the other person is there to take the spot.

It's still pretty annoying, but it's not as if they are selling the spot.

Re:Expect this to get shut down faster than Uber (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949857)

I don't think that'll fly as a defense. I could see you getting hit with misappropriation of public property or something like that. I imagine it'd be the same as if you filled a spot with road cones to keep people out. It probably wouldn't end well for you. And beyond that, if the city really wanted to, they could probably apply some of the statutes from the RICO act against you if you were doing this in an organized manner. This does sound like it could be classified as extortion.

what a time to be alive. (2, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | about 4 months ago | (#46949329)

I for one wholly endorse this newfound libertarian dystopia and have devised a competitive service called turd auction. Heres how it works: i leave a bathroom stall at a public stadium or park, and users logged into my site then meet up and fight eachother to the death in mortal combat to determine who can then prostitute their children to raise enough money for the half roll of shit tickets left in the stall.

I don't understand big cities - off topic (-1, Flamebait)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 months ago | (#46949349)

I've been to NYC and SF, I really don't understand why you would want to live in such horrible places. They are ridiculously over-crowded, and such over priced, and beacons of inefficiency and how do fuck over nature. You have to truck in everything and truck out everything, I guess you could argue that you're only screwing up one small area of land, but the air and water pollution covers massive areas. Hell, look at how screwed California is in the water department.

Why would you want to live somewhere that you can't even find a parking spot (assuming you drive a car).

I realize that geeks unable to survive in nature like living in 'safe' places like cities, and as such I'll get a bunch of replies ranting about how awesome they are and probably several people claiming they are bastions of efficiency ... but ignoring those false hoods, someone please explain to me why you'd want to live in such a massive city?

Re:I don't understand big cities - off topic (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#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."

Re:I don't understand big cities - off topic (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 4 months ago | (#46949517)

someone please explain to me why you'd want to live in such a massive city?

Baseball, and beer, and also hookers

Re:I don't understand big cities - off topic (3, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | about 4 months ago | (#46949527)

Some people are willing to pay the extra costs of living in order to have access to an immense amount of culture. NYC has several orchestras, a world-class opera and theatre scene, and readings by prominent literary figures nearly every night of the week. If you like fine dining, you have a vaster range of choices there than elsewhere.

Re:I don't understand big cities - off topic (5, Insightful)

Schezar (249629) | about 4 months ago | (#46949535)

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?

Re:I don't understand big cities - off topic (2)

ZackSchil (560462) | about 4 months ago | (#46949549)

Massive cities are, by all measures, more efficient than suburban life or rural life. Distribution of resources scales very, very well with population density. Trucking in and out food is orders of magnitude greener than producers sending out 1000 smaller trucks much farther across sprawling rural areas, then everyone trucking themselves around to the grocery store 10-20 minutes away. Wiring power to a 30 floor apartment building is much more efficient than stringing copper to an equal number of suburban homes. Heating a large building with a huge steam boiler, when divided out, is much more efficient than heating the equivalent in suburban homes with electricity, gas, or any theoretical technology! Thermodynamics are just plain working against you!

You seem to just be trolling for replies early in the article so I'm not going to waste time pulling up links. I'm sure others in the community have plenty handy. But if you are being earnest, just think about it for half a second. You might find the way of life unpleasant. That's ok. Many people do. It falls in and out of style over time. But come on, man.

Re: I don't understand big cities - off topic (2)

russotto (537200) | about 4 months ago | (#46949675)

Cities ate not more efficient than suburbs by every measure; if they were, it would be cheaper, not more expensive, to live in cities. There are diseconomies of density which result in groceries, electricity, etc costing MORE in cities, not less.

Re: I don't understand big cities - off topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949801)

Most of that would come down to higher rents, basically.

Re: I don't understand big cities - off topic (2)

Shados (741919) | about 4 months ago | (#46949813)

The only thing that really rises up cost of living in cities is supply vs demand. People who live in cities want to live close by stuff, almost by definition, and they pay a premium for it. That raises up land price, which trickles all the way down to things like groceries (can you imagine the cost of the land to build a large grocery store in SF/Boston/NYC? yeah...).

That explains almost all of the cost difference. Not all of it, but almost.

Re:I don't understand big cities - off topic (1)

alen (225700) | about 4 months ago | (#46949731)

1000 smaller trucks delivering stuff

you just described NYC

and the heating part, lots of old buildings have ancient inefficient boilers that pollute. the upper east side has some of the worst air quality. newer burb homes will have newer and efficient boilers

Re:I don't understand big cities - off topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949551)

But what is the alternative? How efficient is it to live in a rural or suburban area, where you have to drive everywhere, have goods trucked into huge Walmarts. You are screwing up a large area of land, and companies/the government use the non developed areas as dumps for chemicals, garbage, etc.

i realize that people unable to survive communicating with others, sharing things, etc. like living in 'safe' wide open spaces, but that doesnt mean it is efficient, desirable, or even practical.

Re:I don't understand big cities - off topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949561)

I'm not trying to be a proponent of dense cities - they seem like a bit of a grind to me too.

But no matter where you live, they're still trucking in your groceries, and trucking out your trash -- and they're probably driving farther to do it. You just don't see it as much because of the wider spacing. Plus, you're using more resources to get wherever it is you're going as it's most likely farther away and you're going to use a more inefficient method of transportation.

Re:I don't understand big cities - off topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949711)

I think it has to do mostly with the fact that historically, SF and NY were harbor cities. The industry arising from it created a max exodus of people looking for work, and the whole thing just ballooned because people go where the jobs are, creating pools of demand, attracting business, which attracts people, and so on and so forth.

Sounds like the perfect solution for the homeless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949365)

All the homeless would need if this passes is a beat up old clunker that barely moves. They can sleep in their cars and then move when they get paid. While this might solve the homeless problem in SF, I suspect it will only make parking SF even more difficult given that every old clunker in the State will be moving into the city to take advantage of the new income.

Re:Sounds like the perfect solution for the homele (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949783)

All the homeless would need if this passes is a beat up old clunker that barely moves.

If you had ever been homeless you would be less quick to write the idiotic crap
you wrote above.

Life has a funny way of humbling people like you. If I were you I'd be very worried for my own
future, after making such remarks as you wrote above. When you end up homeless, be sure
to remember how you made such a tasteless remark about homeless people on Slashdot.

This is not what I pay taxes for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949393)

And not that I'm blaming the government. I just hope that whomever is involved in this as a profiteer gets followed to their home and beaten to within an inch of their life.

Now I can finance owning a car! (1)

dmomo (256005) | about 4 months ago | (#46949485)

1. Walk up to spot. Stand next to car I do not own.
2. Check in with app
3. Accept Bids
4. ....
5. Profit (and run like Hell)

This ends in destruction of property (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 4 months ago | (#46949507)

This ends in destruction of property.

Either the sellers' or the buyers cars will suffer from spontaneous combustion. And thus will this idea die.

And when they go to the police and say "My car was burned!" the police will reply with something close to a "hmmm. Ok. Did you see who did it? No? Well, tough luck."

Re:This ends in destruction of property (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949763)

And when they go to the police and say "My car was burned!" the police will reply with something close to a "hmmm. Ok. Did you see who did it? No? Well, tough luck."

Nonsense, we had this discussion a couple days ago.

Jerk: Someone burned my car, I have video of the event and took the license plate numbers of the cars they left in.
Police: Ok, fill out this form. *hands over 'item lost' paperwork*
Jerk fills out paperwork and returns it
Police: Alright, I'll file this away and your insurance can see it if they want to contest your claim.
Jerk: Aren't you going to do anything about the vandals that burned my car?
Police: Vandals? Nah, that sounds dangerous. Someone could get hurt.

Dynamic parking prices (4, Interesting)

crow (16139) | about 4 months ago | (#46949569)

I thought San Francisco already had dynamic parking prices to try to use market forces to keep parking available. They have devices to monitor parking utilization. The goal is to typically have one on-street parking spot open per block; somewhere around 85% utilization. If the block is consistently above that, the price increases. If it's below, the price lowers. They adjust the prices by $.25 every month.

From the talk on this that I saw, they generally improved the availability of parking though the dynamic pricing. Employees who park every day would find the cheaper blocks to park on, leaving the busier blocks open for customers.

Maybe the program isn't working as well as they claimed. Maybe the program isn't covering enough of the city, and the approach in the article is of more use in other parts.

Re:Dynamic parking prices (2)

crow (16139) | about 4 months ago | (#46949661)

I looked up the talk in question, and here's the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

If you're really interested in urban planning and parking regulations, watch the whole thing, but otherwise the link should go right to where he talks about San Francisco's parking program.

You cannot sell that which you do not own. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949607)

Idiots who are squatting on parking spots trying to "sell" that parking spot
are asking for trouble from so many different sources they will need to keep
an orthopedic surgeon and a lawyer on speed dial.

Extortion (1)

RobSwider (669148) | about 4 months ago | (#46949645)

How is this different than me parking in front of someone, backing up until I'm 2cm from their bumper, then telling them "Let's start the bidding at $200"? Once they talk me down to $100, I move my car, and they can leave. That's extortion. This is the same thing, only the paywall is moved a little down the line.

Re:Extortion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949773)

One is holding someone against their will, the other is just being an asshole. Big difference.

Law against this in 3 2 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949663)

If this isn't already illegal it should be soon. What's next, auctioning trolly seats or the best gazebos in the park? This is essentially scalping.

Reminds me of Boston (4, Informative)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 4 months ago | (#46949733)

I lived in Boston for a while and the parking is just as bad there as it is in SF. For those of you that have not visited the fine city of Boston, allow me to enlighten you. Boston is an historical city and, as such, has numerous historical buildings. Buildings that cannot be knocked down in order to widen roads. The road that Paul Revere travelled on is just as wide now as it was then.

Lots of one way streets and lots of one hour parking. The cops there would ride around with little bits of chalk. The first time through they would put a chalk mark on the tires of the cars in the one hour parking zone. An hour later they return and any car there with chalk on the tire gets a ticket. So of course it became a game of cat and mouse - cop puts chalk, car owner rubs it off.

When it snows it's worse because the snow plows can't get through so you would have to park on alternate sides of the street depending on the day of the week. If you're caught on the wrong side when the snow plows come through they just tow your car.

The moral of the story is that if you live in Boston, or SF for that matter, take public transportation whenever you can. Driving and parking in either of those cities is a pain in the ass and is to be avoided at all costs.

One of the reasons I left Boston was the traffic and parking. I got sick of it.

Naturally, this app is going to get banned. You don't own the land you are parking your car on. The owner of the parking lot sets the price, not the person renting the spot.

Re:Reminds me of Boston (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949831)

Naturally, this app is going to get banned. You don't own the land you are parking your car on. The owner of the parking lot sets the price, not the person renting the spot.

You're not renting the spot, you're letting someone pay you to leave a spot earlier than you might have otherwise.

Tech hipster dweebs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949777)

This is why the people of San Francisco are tearing open your Google buses and shitting down your throats.

High Frequency Trading (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46949851)

This is exactly how high frequency trading works. They know you want to park near your work at 8am. So they take an empty spot at 7:59 and then sell the spot to you.

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