» Park It! Blog

July 8, 2014

Monkey Parking, a mobile app that provides an auction for San Francisco street parking, received a Cease & Desist letter from San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera on 6/23/14. Monkey Parking follows in the footsteps of other mobile parking apps that create an auction for people to buy and sell street parking. Monkey Parking offers people $10 for leaving a parking space and charges other people $5 and up for a parking space. I believe a few companies were in the same situation in NYC as far back as 2007 or 2008. In those cases, the NYC parking apps claimed that they were ‘selling and buying information’, not public street parking spaces.

According to the San Jose Mercury News,

Herrera cites part of the city police code that prohibits anyone from buying, selling or leasing public street parking. There are associated violations that carry penalties of up to $300. According to Herrera’s letter, MonkeyParking is also subject to penalties of up to $2,500 under California’s “Unfair Competition Law” if the city were to sue.

Each download, purchase and sale through the app may count as a separate violation, Herrera said. Herrera has threatened to sue if the startup continues to operate in San Francisco past July 11.

Monkey Parking will be joined by other parking apps, Sweetch and ParkModo.  Read more…

Filed under: Parking Apps — Tags: , — mtohn @ 4:32 pm
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Parking CupidYep, another parking app that guarantees to help you find parking. Since most of these apps and websites are essentially the same, here’s our quick rundown of Parking Cupid:

Cost to Find Parking: Free for unlimited search results, access to listings. ‘Premium Access’ costs $7.50 per month and gives you ‘full access to the website’, private messaging, ‘advanced search filters’, parking ticket appeal letters, and customer support.

Cost of Parking: Parking owners and parkers negotiate the fee for monthly parking.

Cost to Sell Parking: Free to list your parking space in general. ‘Premium Listings’ costs $30 for 3 months, and gets you priority ranking in search results, featured on the home page, social media promotion.

Who is Providing Parking: The parking inventory seems to be sourced from private homes and residences. We didn’t see anything about street parking or off-street garages.  Read more…

Filed under: Parking Apps — Tags: , — mtohn @ 3:55 pm
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NYC Alternate Side Parking ASPOn Monday, June 7, 2014, the NYC City Council held a hearing on a bill that would allow drivers in NYC to return to parking spaces once the street sweepers pass through for NYC street cleaning. For locals, the street cleaning is referred to as Alternate Side Parking (ASP) regulations. For anywhere from 2 to 3 hours a day, you are not allowed to have your vehicle on a particular street so the NYC Department of Sanitation can ‘sweep’ the streets. Most ASP signs are clearly marked with the ‘P’ symbol with a broom through it.

We’ve covered this proposal before, and here’s a recap.

Benefits

  1. Potentially significant reduction in wait times for NYC drivers who have to wait 2 – 4 hours in their vehicles during the mandated Alternate Side Parking regulation time.
  2. Much less double-parking by these vehicles, so traffic will be reduced as well

Objections & Concerns Read more…

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July 2, 2014

NerdWallet, a financial website, has offered another analysis of the costs of owning a vehicle in major cities.

In order, the most expensive cities are:

  1. New York City
  2. Detroit — highest average insurance premium of $4,924.99
  3. San Francisco
  4. Chicago
  5. Washington, D.C. — highest annual hours of delay per commuter of 67 hours
  6. Seattle, Washington
  7. Boston, MA
  8. Miami, FL — lowest average gas price at $3.66/gallon
  9. Honolulu, Hawaii – highest average gas price at $4.35/gallon
  10. Oakland, CA

Some of the less expensive cities were:

12. Los Angeles — lowest average number of days with precipitation per year with 32 days
14. Cleveland, OH – highest average number of days with precipitation per year with 150 days, lowest annual hours of delay per commuter with 31 hours, lowest average insurance premium of 4796.54 Read more…

Filed under: Driving & Traffic News — Tags: , — mtohn @ 4:48 pm
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April 8, 2014

NYC Alternate Side Parking ASPI both applaud and do not understand people who use NYC street parking and move their cars 2 – 3 times a week to comply with the NYC Alternate Side Parking Regulations (ASP). These are the regulations that force car owners to move their cars for 1 – 3 hours so the street is clear for the street sweeping trucks. It’s a heroic and long honored ritual for many NYC car owners.

But this daunting activity may get easier. According to the NY Daily News, NYC Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan), is proposing legislation that would let NYC drivers legally take parking spots once the street sweeper passed by — ending the need for drivers to wait inside their cars until the no-parking time period lapses.

Rodriguez first introduced the bill in 2010, and got a majority of the Council to join as co-sponsors, including Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan). The bill stalled, which might have been because: Read more…

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February 26, 2014

AAA logoAAA’s Car & Travel magazine wrote a great set of common questions about common car maintenance issues. Take the test and see how you do!

The tire-pressure light is glowing. You should inflate your tires to:

a. The pressure listed on the inside of your car door.
b. The pressure listed on the tire’s sidewall.
c. The pressure that causes the tire-pressure light to shut off.
d. 32 psi.

Correct answer is “a”. On most cars, the proper tire pressure is shown on the driver’s-side door jamb or in the glove box. It’s also in your owner’s manual. Do not use the numbers shown on the tire itself. Those typically are maximum pressures, not the tire pressure that’s right for your car to insure proper barking and handling.

A significant drop in outside air temperature also can cause tire pressure to drop.

The “check engine” light comes on. The first thing you should do is:

a. Drive to a safe, well-lighted location before you get stranded.
b. Add one quart of oil.
c. Tighten the gas cap.
d. Carefully off the road and shut off the engine for 30 minutes before restarting.

Correct answer is “c”. Yes, a loose gas cap can cause the car to sense an air leak in the fuel tank. If securing the gas cap doesn’t solve the problem, chances are it’s an exhaust-emissions issue.  And if you see a flashing “check engine” light, that could mean an overhating catalytic converter – a serous probem that should be serviced immediately.

The indicator light that looks like a battery is shining. You must:  Read more…

Filed under: Parking & Driving Advice — Tags: , — mtohn @ 2:16 pm
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Image,_Snowy_drivingIt looks like winter isn’t going away anytime soon, so we want to share some tips for safe winter driving, courtesy of AAA’s magazine, Car & Travel.

Do not pump your brakes to stop on icy roads. Surprised? So were we. Our mothers had told us this for years, but Car & Travel says that was the right approach before vehicles had antilock braking system (ABS), which nearly all vehicles have now. If you’ve ever felt a vibration in the brake pedal on a slick road, you have witnessed ABS at work as the system prevents wheel lock-up. So instead of pumping the brakes, keep firm pressure on the brake pedal until your car comes to a complete stop.

Do not hit your brakes hard if your car goes into a  skid. This one we knew. But what we didn’t know is that there are two types of skids: Read more…

Filed under: NYC Driving,Parking & Driving Advice — Tags: , , — mtohn @ 10:20 am
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February 22, 2014

Image,_NYC_TrafficNew NYC Mayor Bill DiBlasio has announced significant changes to improve NYC traffic. DiBlasio’s primary objective is to reduce the number of NYC traffic fatalities to zero. He plans to accomplish that by:

  • Instituting a police crackdown on NYC speeding motorists,
  • redesigning 50 dangerous intersections and streets each year,
  • increasing NYC police enforcement against dangerous moving violations, including speeding, failing to yield to pedestrians, signal violations, improper turns/disobeying signage, and phoning/texting while driving,
  • getting Albany’s permission to decrease the citywide speed limit to 25 mph from 30 mph,
  • increasing the number of red-light cameras beyond the current 120 locations,
  • implementing eight new neighborhood slow zones,
  • installing speed
  • cameras at 20 new authorized locations,
  • installing 250 speed bumps, including in neighborhood slow zones,
  • enhancing street lighting at 1,000 intersections,
  • creating 25 new “neighborhood slow-zones” to help minimize speeding,
  • imposing stiffer penalties on NYC taxi drivers who drive dangerously, and
  • maintaining an interagency task force to oversee the implementation of Vision Zero.

Image,_Vision_Zero_logoVision Zero is Mayor DiBlasio’s plan to reduce the number of NYC traffic fatalities to zero. Read more…

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Transit Wireless, the company installing wireless access in NYC subways, has promised that there will be Wifi signals in all 277 NYC subway stations by 2017.

The next NYC subway stations to get Wifi signals are:

Grand Central Station Image,_NYC_Subway_4-5-6__icon Image,_NYC_Subway_S_icon Image,_NYC_Subway_7_icon

 

34th St/ Herald Square Image,_NYC_Subway_B-D_iconImage,_NYC_Subway_F-M_icon Image,_NYC_Subway_N-Q-R_icon
Bryant Park Image,_NYC_Subway_B-D_iconImage,_NYC_Subway_F-M_icon

If you’re one of the 250 million subway riders with cellular service on AT&T, T-Mobile, Spring or Verizon, you’ll get a wireless signal at the platforms and mezzanines. Not inside the tunnels, though.

Read more at Daily News.

Filed under: Subways — Tags: , , , — mtohn @ 11:59 am
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January 8, 2014

Starting soon, you’ll be able to pay for your NYC parking space right on your smart phone. No more searching for coins (though the last single-space meters that require coins were taken off the streets in 2011) or walking up and down the block looking for the Muni-Meter and using your credit card.

On December 26th, 2013, NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg and NYC DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn announced that NYC has started the process for vendors to bid on the pay-by-phone contract. Once implemented, you’ll be able to pay by smart phone at all 14,000 NYC street parking space meters, in all five boroughs.

What will change:

  • No more paper receipts for you to place on your dashboard
  • NYPD Traffic Enforcement Officers will have online information about your payment and NYC parking space
  • You can add time remotely, but only up to the allowable legal limit for that parking space

We don’t know:

  • If you will still be able to pay by credit card or NYC Parking Card at the Muni-Meter
  • How a driver will identify the specific parking space since streets with Muni-Meters do not have marked parking spaces.
  • If the NYC parking rates will change
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