Via Curbed, a great idea for making use of that parking space you don’t need, or getting one if you do: Put it on the market. A new New York-via-Baltimore-based startup called Parking Panda is like a more organized Craigslist for parking spaces, allowing people to list their space for whatever price they think they can get, and for would-be parkers to pay online. Like performance parking, it’s another way of both making more parking available and creating a market for it, making parking a commodity that’s responsive to the forces of supply and demand.
It does seem like there are still a few bugs to work out. The major flaw at the moment, it seems to me after playing with the site for a bit, is that there’s no way of ensuring that people are renting spaces that are actually theirs—-if you wanted, you could list your neighbor’s spot, collect the cash, and let the confused parties sort things out without you. A miscreant could get away with this at least a few times before being outed.
But the concept is promising, and Panda’s still a startup. In the mean time, I’d love to see a system instituted for the city’s larger reservoirs of available parking: Garages. What if you could find out how many spaces were available where in subterranean spaces downtown, and go directly there instead of circling for hours? The problem with this in practice, of course, is that garage owners don’t want you or their competitors to know how much space they’ve got, allowing them to keep prices artificially high. For now, making good use of on-street parking may be the best we can do.