Posts Tagged ‘motorists’

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Tells “Monkey Parking” to Drop Mobile App for Auctioning City Parking Spots – $300 Fines?

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

[UPDATE: SFist (lots of comments already), Slate, and the San Francisco Chronicle are on the case.]

Gotta say I sort of saw this one coming.

And it’s not just Monkey Parking that’s in trouble today. Check out the craigslist ad from ParkModo (cached website) (@ParkModo – no Tweets yet, or maybe they were deleted?), posted on June 17th, 2014:

Earn $13.00 P/H Just To Park! (mission district)

Our company is launching an awesome app that rewards people to sell their on-street parking spots before leaving to people who need a spot.

To help us promote the app, we are looking for 20 people with cars and iPhones to park around the mission and use the app to offer their parking spots to people looking for parking.

The hours will be from 5:30-9:00 pm Thurs-Sat starting June 26th.

This is how it works:

1. You download the app from the app store.
2. When you want to work, you will contact our field manager to check in.
3. The field manager will then instruct you as to what area and type of spot you are to park in.
4. You will then find a spot in the area and park.
5. Once you are parked, using the app, you will offer the spot for sale. 
6. While you are waiting for someone to purchase the space, you will distribute postcards and promote the app.
7. Once someone purchases the spot, you will complete the transaction with the buyer and then find another space to park in and start the process all over again!

If you are interested, please click on the link below (Paste into your browser) and provide your information so we can contact you and get you started.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1To5Ck5FrPBMrh35SvJp-WDRg0WDyaLLyuo1_MS8pyV8/viewform?usp=send_form

We look forward to working with you!”

I think ParkModo’s operations will now be on hold, for a little bit at least. But do you want some more from them? See below.

Now, all the deets about all these troubled businesses, from Herrera’s office:

“Herrera tells Monkey Parking to drop mobile app for auctioning city parking spots

Motorists face $300 fines for each violation under existing law, City Attorney says — and three startups could be liable for penalties of up to $2,500 for each transaction

SAN FRANCISCO (June 23, 2014) — San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera today issued an immediate cease-and-desist demand to Monkey Parking, a mobile peer-to-peer bidding app that enables motorists to auction off the public parking spaces their vehicles occupy to nearby drivers.   The app, currently available for iOS devices, describes itself on the Apple iTunes App Store as the “the first app which lets you make money every time that you are about to leave your on-street parking spot.”

The letter Herrera’s office issued this morning to Paolo Dobrowolny, CEO of the Rome, Italy-based tech startup, cites a key provision of San Francisco’s Police Code that specifically prohibits individuals and companies from buying, selling or leasing public on-street parking.  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.  Because Monkey Parking’s business model is wholly premised on illegal transactions, the letter contends that the company would be subject to civil penalties of up to $2,500 per violation under California’s tough Unfair Competition Law were the city to sue.  Such a lawsuit would be imminent, Herrera’s office vowed, should the startup continue to operate in San Francisco past July 11, 2014.

Technology has given rise to many laudable innovations in how we live and work — and Monkey Parking is not one of them,” Herrera said.  “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 demand to Monkey Parking includes a request to the legal department of Apple Inc., which is copied on the letter, asking that the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant immediately remove the mobile application from its App Store for violating several of the company’s own guidelines.  Apple App Store Review Guidelines provide that “Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users” and that “Apps whose use may result in physical harm may be rejected.”

Two other startups that similarly violate local and state law with mobile app-enabled schemes intended to illegally monetize public parking spaces in San Francisco will also face legal action in the form of cease-and-desist demands this week, according to the City Attorney’s Office.  Sweetch charges a $5 flat fee when its users obtain a parking spot from another Sweetch motorist.  Sweetch drivers who pass their spots off to other Sweetch members are refunded $4 of that fee.  ParkModo, which appears poised to launch later this week, according to recent employment postings on Craigslist, will employ drivers at a rate of $13.00 per hour to occupy public parking spaces in the Mission District.  As with Monkey Parking and Sweetch, ParkModo then plans to sell the on-street parking spots to its paying members through its iPhone app.  Sweetch and ParkModo members who make use of the apps to park in San Francisco are also subject to civil penalties of $300 per violation, and both companies are potentially liable for civil penalties of $2,500 per transaction for illegal business practices under the Cali04fornia Unfair Competition Law.

A copy of Herrera’s demand letter to Monkey Parking and additional information about the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office is available at: http://www.sfcityattorney.org/.”

And here’s a little more from ParkModo:

“We are currently rolling out the beta in the following cities…

San Francisco – As beautiful as city it is, parking is just as bad! Not only is there way to much demand for the supply, but the parking police will catch you if they can! Be among the first 1000 people to download the app and get $5 in free parking!

New York – Instead of calling it the city that never sleeps, they should call it the city that never has parking! Get in on ParkModo and earn some serious cash and stop wasting your time. We know every minute in ny is precious.

Chicago – There may be wind here, but there is certainly no parking! Use ParkModo and fly like the wind when you need a space!”

Official CA Agency CalRecycle Declares War on Car Dealerships: Says DON’T Change Motor Oil Every 3000 Miles – Let it Slide

Friday, November 4th, 2011

The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), a division of our California Department of Conservation, doesn’t want you changing your car oil as much. They want you to follow the recommendation in your car’s owner’s manual, as opposed to your service manager’s “every 3000 miles no matter what” mantra.

(I don’t think car dealerships and oil change places will like this one bit.)

Anyway, CalRecycle is coming to town tomorrow to pay for free parking for motorists who pledge to increase their oil change intervals. (But don’t anybody tell StreetsBlog SF about the free parking reward – they won’t like that at all. Srsly.)

It’s called the Check Your Number campaign

All the deets, after the jump

(more…)

The SFPD is Keeping a Watchful Eye Over Fell and Masonic

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

This is what it looks like when elements of the San Francisco Police Department keep a watchful eye over the problematic intersection of the streets Fell and Masonic.

Things are still shaking out in this area - the new traffic signal scheme is still being tinkered with. Part of the problem is that motorists just don’t understand what they are looking at. Peer pressure, such as “the car to right of me is going now so I should too,” still has a strong effect. If you had to choose which part of westbound traffic, cars or peds/cyclists, should be allowed to go first during each signal cycle, which would you choose? The City has tried it both ways already – it seems there are pros and cons for either choice.   

Cops like these will go after motorists and cyclists alike, so let’s all be careful out there. Click to expand:

The reign of Robert “Don’t Call Him CrazyRob Anderson (who still refuses to post his social security number online for all the world to see) might soon be coming to a close, so perhaps it’s time to start thinking outside of the box.

Getting rid of an entire block of Masonic betwixt Fell and Oak might be too radical for some, but how about eliminating left turns off of westbound Fell into Masonic altogether? There’s a similar prohibition on left turns farther down Fell at Stanyan and that seems to work out O.K.

Something to think about, non?

Why are Toyota Prius Owners Such Bad Drivers?

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

Generally speaking, that is.

Back in the day, old boxy 200-series Volvos had the rep of having drivers that had issues. But these days, it seems the worst motorists on the roads are caged-up in Toyota Priuses. Why’s that?

Could it be that the primary reason most owners bought is that the purchase “makes a statement” about them?

Getting the “what’s a matter you?” Italian-style hand gesture from a perturbed pedestrian on South Van Ness in San Francisco. The driver was blocking a crosswalk for a good 45 seconds while paying attention to something in his right hand. Note body damage from a prior allision.

img_7359a.jpg

Another Prius driver recently caused a stir in town by driving through the streetcar-only Sunset Tunnel and getting stuck for a few hours.  

Things have gotten so bad that some people keep an eye out just for these particular hybrids.

Keep a look out and stay safe out there.