SpotHero is an app that lets you reserve parking in advance. It seemed like a cool idea, so I installed it and gave it a try when I had a business lunch on Tuesday. I entered the name of the restaurant in Hollywood and SpotHero showed me a map of parking spots near the restaurant. I found one on the corner of Argyle and Sunset for $6.
When I arrived at the parking lot, I found that the entrance was barricaded. A worker standing by the entrance told me that the entire lot had been rented for the day. I showed her my SpotHero reservation, and she called for the lot attendant who came over told me the same thing. He said I could go to another lot at the corner of Hollywood and Vine and that I "might be able to work something out with them." He described the lot, but when I drove there I couldn't find the lot he was talking about, and I had my doubts that they would let me park there anyway.
At this point, I was already late for my meeting. Fortunately, I found a metered spot in the street, which is rare for this area, and paid $8 for 2 hours. So I ended up being late and paying $14 for parking.
After my meeting, I contacted SpotHero through Twitter to let them know about the problem with the lot. I received a reply on Wednesday morning:
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This is Emily from SpotHero, our Social Media Monitor passed your information along to me.
A pickup truck was blocked in by a wall and three cars. Amazingly, the driver was able to maneuver the truck out of the tight spot.
Caption this .... from r/ThatsInsane
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Are you the driver in the lot who parks in the first spot you see? Or do you circle around and around looking for a spot by the door? Physicists Paul Krapivsky of Boston University and Sidney Redner of the Santa Fe Institute explored the mathematics of parking. The research required different equations and simulations to model the benefits of the various parking approaches. From EurkeAlert!:
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In their paper, Krapivsky and Redner map three simple parking strategies onto an idealized, single row parking lot. Drivers who grab the first space available follow what the authors call a "meek" strategy. They "waste no time looking for a parking spot," leaving spots near the entrance unfilled. Those who gamble on finding a space right next to the entrance are "optimistic." They drive all the way to the entrance, then backtrack to the closest vacancy. "Prudent" drivers take the middle path. They drive past the first available space, betting on the availability of at least one other space further in. When they find the closest space between cars, they take it. If no spaces exist between the furthest parked car and the entrance, prudent drivers backtrack to the space a meek driver would have claimed straightaway.
So which strategy is best? As the name suggests, the prudent strategy. Overall, it costs drivers the least amount of time, followed closely by the optimistic strategy. The meek strategy was "risibly inefficient," to quote the paper, as the many spaces it left empty created a lengthy walk to the entrance.
Matt Chapman used the Freedom of Information Act to get the City of Chicago's very mess parking ticket data; after enormous and heroic data normalization, Chapman was able to pinpoint one of the city's most confusing parking spots, between 1100-1166 N State St, which cycled between duty as a taxi-stand and a parking spot with a confusingly placed and semi-busted parking meter.
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I bet he's a master at parallel parking his daily driver too.
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A Ferrari driver in southeast England ignored warnings not to leave cars overnight on the ninth floor of the Brighton Marina parking garage. The fellow returned on Sunday morning to find his fancy ride in the middle of a bustling flea market.
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The fine folks at Stop a Douchebag typically catch a lot of heat from the Muscovite scofflaws they bust driving on paths and sidewalks, but when behemoths from BodyMania go out on the street, compliance goes to 100% without a peep. Read the rest
The City of West Hollywood is using automated parking to fit more vehicles into a garage. It's neat, but I wish Los Angeles would use its resources for better public transportation.
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The garage requires a much smaller physical footprint than would a conventional parking structure with a similar capacity. The space savings nets more than 7,000 square feet for a Community Plaza and entry service area that will be used for community events. The Automated Garage will help to answer the City’s need for parking for City Hall and for surrounding businesses.
Parking your vehicle is as simple as driving in to the bay, pulling a ticket and walking away. The maximum vehicle retrieval time for an individual car is approximately two minutes. The automated garage has multiple lifts and shuttles that can move many vehicles at once.
This mom in Port Moody, BC is taking a chance by having her son block a car with his bike so she can swipe a parking spot. A road ragey driver would have bumped the kid out of the way.
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Has this ever happened to you? After circling around endlessly for 20 minutes at a completely PACKED parking lot on a busy Saturday afternoon, I finally saw someone leaving, and patiently waited for the parking spot (blue car) for them to leave. Out of nowhere comes a punk kid and his mom, and I would guess the dad (driving the silver Corolla).
Apparently now you can sweet talk your way and reserve the spot if you just stand there and use a kid to block you with his bike. Your car was not even there. I waited a full minute before you even showed up. My turn signal was indicated at 0.06 of the video.
For what it's worth, the lady of the car leaving said to me, "they have been waiting here for a while, so they can have the spot". She seems clueless that I was there waiting for their spot way before they arrived and sided with them since they chatted moments earlier. SMH...
If you have $650,000 you can buy a nice one-car spot at Boston's Brimmer Street Garage. The garage is heated and has valet service. When the garage opened in 1979, spots sold for $7,900. Last month, a spot sold for $390,000. It's a better investment than bitcoin!
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A woman in Petrer, Spain posted a photo on Facebook of a police car illegally parked in a handicap spot. She was subsequently fined almost €800 (~US$886) under the Citizens Security Law, aka the "gagging law," that prohibits "the unauthorised use of images of police officers that might jeopardise their or their family’s safety or that of protected facilities or police operations." Read the rest
No back and forth bullshit when Han Yue made the Guinness World Record for the tightest parallel park, 8 cm (3.15") in a MINI 3-door Hatch, during the China Drift Championship. Read the rest
Monkeyparking, the app that lets assholes auction off their parking spots, has been sent a cease-and-desist letter by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who says the practice of selling your public parking spot is illegal. Monkeyparking's competition are expected to receive the same treatment soon. Read the rest