Use Your Phone to Find Parking! Just, Um, Not While Driving.

Try as they might, City Council members haven’t cornered the market on ridiculous, counterproductive on-street parking "solutions." Now making its way to your neighborhood: "Parking Around Me," a new service that facilitates parking alerts between drivers via text message.

roadifygrab.jpgThe latest beckoning driver distraction, from Roadify.

From what I can tell, here’s how it works: A driver about to vacate a spot texts their location to Parking Around Me provider Roadify, which marks the space as available to other members. To be notified of open spots, users must either follow the Roadify Twitter feed or text Roadify with their location, wait for a reply, then respond with their preference.

Horrified by the notion of Roadify members barreling down your block while performing tedious multi-step tasks on their cellphones? Not to worry. Taking a page from the mobile manufacturer playbook, the Roadify website includes not one, but two "don’t text and drive" disclaimers. Problem solved.

Or, we could just charge a fair price for scarce curbside parking, so spaces aren’t so hard to come by.

Parking Around Me has debuted in Park Slope, with the promise of eventual full city coverage. Roadify says it will expand its "social transportation" offerings to include airline and transit passenger info, but for now, it’s all about the ever-suffering city motorist. Coming soon: the "meter maid" stalker!

  • fdr

    On another safety issue, Bloomberg today signed a law increasing the fine for leaving a vehicle unattended without locking the ignition or removing the key. “The bill also eliminates the three-minute grace period for someone committing this irresponsible act.” So we take away the 3-minute grace period for this, while adding a 5-minute grace period at parking meters.

    http://www.nyc.gov/portal/site/nycgov/menuitem.c0935b9a57bb4ef3daf2f1c701c789a0/index.jsp?pageID=mayor_press_release&catID=1194&doc_name=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nyc.gov%2Fhtml%2Fom%2Fhtml%2F2009b%2Fpr501-09.html&cc=unused1978&rc=1194&ndi=1

  • Because of so motorists many cruising for spots (at least in Manhattan), an open parking spot doesn’t last long enough to make this system worth using.

  • Geck

    BicyclesOnly is absolutely right. In NoParkSlope spots are often claimed before the car leaving even pulls out. The information will be outdated before anyone ever receives it.

  • Shemp

    Hopefully the ambulance chasers will be on the lookout for any crash that involves texting and Roadify and include the company in suits as an entity contributing to crashes.

  • Knowing about parking spaces isnt a bad thing. I wa simpressed in Dublin, where there were large electronic signs telling cars how many parking spaces were available in an area. It reducing congestion from people who circle looking for a spot

  • AlexB

    all cars in america should be given to third world countries.

  • Would that have been for paid parking, jass? Valuable parking that is given away for free doesn’t have enough inventory to be usefully advertised. This app, if anyone uses it, will only make things worse by generating trips to further and further off spots that have already been snapped up by regular parking cruisers.

  • Like there are not enough people driving around with their phone in their hand already.

  • I really think the way to make parking easier is to charge a reasonable rate for it. The city is giving it away.

    Most parking in Park Slope is free and you can store you car there for a week or more with out moving it. The metered spots are so cheep merchants store their vehicle there all day.

  • You have a very good blog. I will be looking forward to more of your posts and have bookmarked it for future reference.

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