Today, San Francisco tried banning the use of a controversial parking app, MonkeyParking, one that allows users to auction off their parking spots to the highest bidder—their public parking spaces, that is. The app, available for iOS devices only, bills itself as "the first app which lets you make money every time that you are about to leave your on-street parking spot." Baghdad by the Bay, noted for its prowess when it comes to all things tech, however, wasn't too keen.
"Technology has given rise to many laudable innovations in how we live and work—and Monkey Parking is not one of them," San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a written statement. "It's illegal, it puts drivers on the hook for $300 fines, and it creates a predatory private market for public parking spaces that San Franciscans will not tolerate. Worst of all, it encourages drivers to use their mobile devices unsafely—to engage in online bidding wars while driving. People are free to rent out their own private driveways and garage spaces should they choose to do so. But we will not abide businesses that hold hostage on-street public parking spots for their own private profit."
Herrera's cease-and-desist (which you can read here) also asks for Apple to yank MonkeyParking from its App Store since it violates several Apple guidelines. Tsk, tsk.
As for those who still want to use the questionable app? It could cost you. A lot. As MarketWatch pointed out, "Police Code section 63(c) further provides that scofflaws—including drivers who 'enter into a lease, rental agreement or contract of any kind' for public parking spots—face administrative penalties of up to $300 for each violation."
Check out 7x7's Best of Tech for a list of choice parking apps that actually work (and are legal).