Should You Be Allowed to Auction the Parking Space You’re Leaving?

Via Planetizen:

MonkeyParking is a new app that lets you take bids on the on-street parking space you’re about to pull out of.

The San Francisco City Attorney is investigating whether it’s legal to make a profit off a public space.

I love innovation, but when I read something like this it makes me a little cynical…

5 responses to “Should You Be Allowed to Auction the Parking Space You’re Leaving?”

  1. How would that work? Suppose I am leaving a parking space, and X agrees to “buy” it from me–do I refuse to vacate the spot until X is ready to pull in behind me? What if Y comes along, wants the spot, and in turn refuses to let me leave–or else tries to prevent X from taking the space? Or gets there first, and refuses to move when I tell him I’ve sold it to X and won’t be leaving until X arrives?

    I’ve noticed signs at PDX informing travellers that it is illegal to “resell” luggage carts (which cost $4 a pop to rent last time I was at PDX) to other travellers. You can give them away, or return them to the dispenser for a quarter reward, but signage claims that it is illegal to charge other airport users to take a cart in your possession and thus deprive SmartCarte (or whoever) of revenue.

    • Yeah. Seems like a great way for fights, or even vehicular assaults, to start.

      Sometimes it’s embarrassing to be a techie.

  2. Chris,

    This was something you meant to run on April Fool’s day, right?

    I can’t wait until gangs get into this. It borders on extortion.

    But Gypsy Jokers parked in choice spots downtown would make
    the city more vibrant.


    • This is a perfect example of the free market profiting from the underpricing of a valuable resource. What if the BLM allowed mining and harvesting on its lands without charging anything? I think people would be lining up to exploit it.

      • Um, the BLM vastly underprices mining, oil drilling, and harvesting on its lands.

        And people ARE lining up to exploit it.

        As a result, people treat mining/drilling/harvesting leases as if they are real property rights and resell/sublease them repeatedly. For profit. Then they lobby Congress to extend their below-market-rate leases, so that they can keep subleasing them for profit.

        Yeah, I’ve been involved in this stuff a bit.

        Anyway, the general point is totally correct: underpricing a limited public resource leads to all sorts of abuses. I bet you didn’t know that the BLM actually WAS an example of this.

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