That app that got San Francisco drivers even more pissed off about parking has gone offline for now.
Monkey Parking, the app that lets drivers sell their public parking space to the highest bidder, was warned by the City Attorney in June to disable its "illegal" app or face some not-so-fun consequences.
Initially, the Italian-based app developer refused and the bidding war business carried on in San Francisco until today when the creators posted the following message on its blog:
The bidding service on MonkeyParking has been temporary disabled in the San Francisco area. In light of the cease and desist letter that we received from the City of San Francisco, we are currently reviewing our service to clarify our value proposition and avoid any future misunderstandings.
Street parking is currently not a first-come-first-served process, but still a random-served one: you can go in circles for hours while a lucky driver can find a spot in a minute, right in front of you. It is an old and painful problem and we believe that drivers deserve a better solution.
Our mission is to get rid of circling the block turning a random parking process into a predictable one, saving people time while also reducing traffic congestion and generated pollution. We want to achieve our mission within the intent and letter of the law and in full cooperation with the local authorities.
We are working to avoid any possible improper use of our service and provide a positive tool for the City of San Francisco and its inhabitants. Stay tuned on monkeyparking.co, news coming soon!
The MonkeyParking Team
Monkey Parking started some unnecessary tension back in May when it decided to use San Francisco as its guinea pig in testing its new parking app. How it works is simple (and controversial): a driver ready to leave his parking spot on the street would post the soon-to-be available spot online; drivers in search of parking could then bid on the available spot -- and the person who is willing to pay the most gets it.
It's pretty clever and also pretty illegal, according to City Attorney Dennis Herrera. From his standpoint, residents can't profit from publicly owned space, and that includes a parking spot. "It creates a predatory private market for public parking spaces that San Franciscans will not tolerate," Herrera said last month.
So there's the latest on that issue. We'll be sure to keep you posted, ecause this is definitely a new kind of parking war in San Francisco.