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Car Culture

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!

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