ParkPlease

The online parking spot marketplace is heating up.

If you follow the Kentucky Derby, you know about the free-form bazaar on the approach to Churchill Downs, where residents sell parking spots in their yards. Some locals practice the hard sell, hollering price quotes and promising good treatment. Others simply put a sign up and sit on the porch. Prices fluctuate from house to house without rhyme or reason, and they are always negotiable.

That market, minus its charmers, screamers, and rocking-chair old folks, is now available in convenient, digital form in San Francisco. ParkPlease, which debuts this weekend to coincide with the Outside Lands music festival, allows residents to post their yards, lots, spots, alleys, driveways and garages to a map. Buyers can find and compare them in advance. The founders had sold 30 percent of their 300 spots by Wednesday, and no doubt business is brisk this evening.

It's not the first website to offer a map of parking spots for sale in the model of online room-share (and fellow Bay Area start-up) Airbnb. English company Park At My House introduced an American site earlier this year. But ParkPlease is the more graphically appealing, and in its limited geographic scope, seems to be busier. On Friday afternoon, most spots are in the $40-$60 range, with parking spaces near the Golden Gate Park festival grounds going for $90 a day. With prices like that, who can afford not to sell their parking spot?

Top image: ParkPlease.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a map of future climate risks in the U.S.
    Maps

    America After Climate Change, Mapped

    With “The 2100 Project: An Atlas for A Green New Deal,” the McHarg Center tries to visualize how the warming world will reshape the United States.

  2. photo: an Uber driver.
    Perspective

    Did Uber Just Enable Discrimination by Destination?

    In California, the ride-hailing company is changing a policy used as a safeguard against driver discrimination against low-income and minority riders.

  3. Perspective

    Why Car-Free Streets Will Soon Be the Norm

    In cities like New York, Paris, Rotterdam, and soon San Francisco, car-free streets are emerging amid a growing movement.

  4. photo: Robert Marbut, the incoming director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness,
    Equity

    The Consultant Leading the White House Push Against Homelessness

    In Texas and Florida, Robert Marbut Jr. sold cities on a controversial model for providing homeless services. Now he’s bringing it to the White House.

  5. photo: a Tower Records Japan Inc. store in Tokyo, Japan.
    Life

    The Bankrupt American Brands Still Thriving in Japan

    Cultural cachet, licensing deals, and density explain why Toys ‘R’ Us, Tower Records, Barneys, and other faded U.S. retailers remain big across the Pacific.

×