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. Design

    A History of the American Public Library

    A visual exploration of how a critical piece of social infrastructure came to be.

  2. Equity

    Berlin Builds an Arsenal of Ideas to Stage a Housing Revolution

    The proposals might seem radical—from banning huge corporate landlords to freezing rents for five years—but polls show the public is ready for something dramatic.

  3. a map of the Mayan Train route in Mexico
    Environment

    Mexico’s ‘Mayan Train’ Is Bound for Controversy

    President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s signature rail project would link cities and tourist sites in the Yucatan with rural areas and rainforests.

  4. A photo of a design maquette for the Obama Presidential Center planned for Jackson Park and designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.
    Design

    Why the Case Against the Obama Presidential Center Is So Important

    A judge has ruled that a lawsuit brought by Chicago preservationists can proceed, dealing a blow to Barack Obama's plans to build his library in Jackson Park.

  5. A sanitation employee helps homeless people with their possessions in New Orleans in October 2017.
    Equity

    Because of Louisiana, the Minimum Wage in New Orleans Is a Poverty Wage

    Around the World Day of Social Justice, we should consider why cities pay poverty wages, and why 28 states can preempt local efforts to raise the minimum wage.