Posts Tagged ‘parking’

New “Upshift” Company Delivers a Rental Car to You – It’s the “Uber of Carshare” – It’s Bicycle-Assisted Car Rentals

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Upshift is here, or at least it’s here in the Russian Hill and Nob Hill areas.

Here’s how it works:

“1. TAP A BUTTON – Anywhere in San Francisco. Get a car for the day with one tap. It’s that easy.

2. GET A CAR DELIVERED – Get a Small, Medium, Large, or Luxury vehicle delivered in 60 minutes. You drive it for the day & our driver rides off on a bike! Introductory rates from $49/day.

3. LEAVE IT ANYWHERE – Drop it off wherever you like in the city. We’ll come pick it up. That’s it. You’re done.”

So your rent-a-car will arrive double-parked at your front door with a green Bianchi or whatever on top and an inner-city sweathog inside. The Upshifter will simply hand you the keys and then pedal away.

Thusly:

(I’ll note that bicycle theft is an issue in San Francisco, just saying. Who’ll be the first Upshifter to lose his/her ride?)

All right, all the deets:

“Upshift is an exclusive, members only car club. Get the freedom of owning a private car with the luxury and convenience of a car service. Push a button, get a hybrid, SUV, or luxury car delivered. You drive it for a day. We pick it up when you’re done. No need to return to the same location as long as it’s in our zone (includes all of the core areas of San Francisco). We professionally operate a fleet of cars out of a single garage. Cars can only be taken out by the day only to start. Subscription pricing and recurrent bookings (eg, deliver a car every Tuesday at 7 am) for regular usage needs. The main limitation of carshare today is parking, not vehicle cost.”

Founded by Ezra Goldman. Who’s that?

“MCP, @MIT & PhD dropout. Co-founded a bikeshare in 1999. Piaggio shared EV scooters at MIT Media Lab in 2006. 2 years managing a startup in Copenhagen”

Upshift is the Uber of Carshare

Upshift makes getting out of town easy. Just push a button on your phone, get a car for the day delivered to your door, and get out of town. We’ll pick it up again anywhere in the city when you’re done, even at a different location from where we delivered, enabling a “one way” service. Payment is all done through your Upshift account, with no cash or card transactions and no paperwork.

Your next car fits in your pocket. And someday, it will drive itself to your door.

Upshift provides club members great cars on demand at the push of a button. We’ll pick up and drop off anywhere in the city- even in two different locations for one way service. Upshift provides more convenience and flexibility than car leasing with less cost, commitment and hassle.

We have spent over 2 years developing the model and getting backing from the world’s best carshare, autotech, and insurance experts around the world. Carsharing takes 9-13 cars off the road for each car we put on the road, unlocking new park space for more livable cities. We enable a transition to a car-free urban lifestyle, taking 1M cars off the streets, to save 10B pounds of CO2 per year by disrupting the car leasing market.

Upshift Twitter

Upshift FaceBook

Well, welcome to town, Upshift.

OMG, It’s Carmageddon! Forget About Parking In Front of Your House Anymore If the SFMTA’s “Car Share Vehicle” Program Comes to Your Block

Monday, June 30th, 2014

It’s a mere formality now, this plan from July 11th, 2014 to give a metric ton of street parking spaces over to ZipCar and the like.

Here’s where some public parking spaces will soon be privatized

Click to expand

Hey look, even spaces on the side of the block where I live.

Like, I don’t care, but man the NIMBY’s are not going to be happy with this, NOT ONE BIT! If the spaces get used too much, it’ll piss off the NIMBYs. But if the spaces get used not that much, it will also piss off the NIMBYs.

What’s next, spaces reserved for Avis and Hertz cars? Perhaps. Why not?

If you stop in one of these spaces in your private car, you risk a ticket. If you go and actually park in one of these spaces, you know, like you’ve been doing the past two decades, well, you’re going to get towed, with extreme prejudice. And that will run you $500-$1000. So, respect!

As with every other program SFGov does, some of us will win and some of us will lose.

Oh well.

Oh, hey, what about street cleaning? Is ZipCar going to get a pass on this or will they send somebody out to move the cars for two hours (ala Kramer in Seinfeld) or will something else occur? I know not.

[UPDATE: Oh, here we go:

"Anytime we change [Jay Primus means take away when he says change but oh well] parking, there is opposition,” he said. “The challenge for the MTA and the car-sharing [he means car rental, cause you know they are rental car cos.] companies is to get awareness of the benefits of car sharing. Academic research shows that … [yada yada yada.] But we know that communicating that will be a challenge.”

Oh Jay Primus, you are a Golden God! But we, the unwashed masses are so, so ignorant! Oh Dr. Primus, please make us “aware.” Oh Dr. Primus, please educate us! And keep up the great work with MUNI – no changes please, it’s already perfect!]

How Crazy are the Newly-Striped Lanes on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park? Contra-Flow Dog-Walking Lane

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Well, I’ll tell you, the SFMTA-sponsored restriping of the eastern section of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park is pretty crazy.

So different and strange new things occur there all the time  - it’s amazing.

Do you think this dog skatewalker goes against traffic with eight critters anywhere else in the world? 

Here’s public radio:

Why One San Francisco Bike Lane Design Is Upsetting Drivers and Cyclists

And here’s the San Francisco Bay Guardian:

New JFK bike lanes are bad for everyone

Can’t the SFMTA simply fix matters by admitting defeat and putting the old stripes back in?

I don’t know if it can, you know, ideologically.

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!”

Should SFGov Drivers Regularly Double-Park Their Rides on Fell or Oak Just to Get a Drink of Water or to Use the Bathroom?

Friday, June 20th, 2014

No.

And yet, this kind of thing is a regular occurrence in the Panhandle

Oh well

Many San Francisco Cars Prevented from Parking on Lincoln Out in the Sunset: “NO PARKING VEHICLES OVER 6′ HIGH” Signs

Friday, June 20th, 2014

So this sign is a real thing but I don’t know what its purpose is.

It would appear to prevent something like Mayor Gavin Newsom’s old Chevy Tahoe SUV from parking on Lincoln:

Click to expand

A mystery

The SFMTA Wants to Remove Ever More Parking from Folsom Street: Presenting the Folsom-Essex Bikeway “Improvement” Project

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Here it is, via the Rincon Hill Blog, it’s  the “Folsom-Essex Bikeway Improvement Project.”

Speaking as somebody with more hours, years, decades and miles on bikes in San Francisco County than any SFMTA Livable Streets person or SFMTA Project Manager or, really, anybody at the sainted SFMTA (with the possible exception of one or two $25 an hour interns that they might have recently hired on), many times what the SFMTA calls an IMPROVEMENT actually doesn’t turn out to be an improvement.

But at that point, the SFMTA becomes seemingly powerless to fix its mistakes, oh well.

Anyway, the project manager behind this effort doesn’t care – all s/he cares about is pushing this thing through. If the project gets approved, that’s success and if it doesn’t, that’s failure. It’s as simple as that.

Oh well. I’ll check out this situation next time I’m down there

All the deets:

“The SoMa area is experiencing rapid residential and commercial  growth, and is poised to be among the neighborhoods with the highest  bicycle ridership in San Francisco.  With bicycling increasing as a means of transportation in SoMa and  throughout the city, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation  Agency (SFMTA) is working with the community to increase the safety  and comfort of city streets for people biking, while also better  organizing our city’s roadways for all modes of travel.

Current Situation
Currently, people bicycling eastbound on Folsom Street must navigate  a difficult segment between 2nd and 1st streets where they are forced  to ride in a narrow bike lane sandwiched between lanes of vehicle  traffic and merge with freeway-bound vehicles.

Proposed Solution
To enhance bicycle safety and better organize the roadway, the  SFMTA proposes to move the Folsom bike lane curbside to eliminate  the need for people bicycling to merge with heavy volumes of freeway  bound vehicles. The agency will also install a dedicated bicycle traffic  signal at the Essex Street intersection to separate through bicyclists  from right-turning vehicles and special markings to provide clear  direction on where motorists can expect bicyclists to be riding.

Realigning the bikeway will require the removal of seven metered parking  spaces on the south side of Folsom Street just east of 2nd Street.

A public hearing on this project will be held on Friday, June 20th at  10:00 AM in City Hall, Room 416.

Please contact Ellen Robinson of the SFMTA at (415) 701-4322 or Ellen.Robinson@sfmta.com with any questions or comments.”

I am writing to let you and the SBRMBNA know about an improvement to the city’s bike network planned for the Folsom Street between 1st and 3rd streets. The bike lane on this stretch has multiple jogs where eastbound bicyclists and freeway-bound motorists must weave. SFMTA proposes to remedy this by moving the bike lane curbside between 2nd and Essex, with a new bike traffic signal to manage the Folsom/Essex intersection. The project will require removing seven metered parking spaces on Folsom Street. There is a public hearing for this change on Friday, June 20th, for which we have placed postings in the project vicinity. The attached flyer provides a summary of the project and details on the public hearing. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Ellen Robinson, PE
SFMTA Livable Streets
1 S Van Ness Avenue, 7th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103″

A $23 Cap on Parking Tickets? Could San Francisco Survive Something Like the “Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative”

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Read the news and turn the pages, from the LA TImes:

“The Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative wants to cap fines at $23 for violations that don’t affect public safety.”

Mmmm…

[CALL:] Hey, could an initiative like this pass in San Francisco County?

[RESPONSE:] Hell to the yes.

Could the SFMTA handle the loss of revenue?

I suppose. But it would turn a solid money-maker – paying well-compensated PCO’s to run around all over the city – into a decided money-loser.

Mmmmm…

Judgment Day is Nigh: Signs for the “Oversize Vehicle Overnight Parking Restriction Pilot” Have Been Posted

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

I don’t actually know if they’re enforcing the new RV parking restrictions in the Panhandle part of Golden Gate Park yet, but here are the brand-new signs, anyway:

Click to expand

Of course, 22 feet is pretty long – that’s enough to cover your Ford Excursions, your Chevy Suburbans and even your Maybach 62‘s. And seven feet is pretty high, so the rules seem fair enough if the goal is to kick the RV liveaboards out of the Panhandle.

But I haven’t heard or seen any RVs getting the heave-ho yet…

Photo: A Game of Frogger But In Real Life on Masonic in Front of Trader Joe’s #100 – Who Will Be The Next To Die?

Monday, June 9th, 2014

These people parked across the street from our popular Trader Joes on Masonic, as many people do, ’cause the TJ’s parking lot is too small, ’cause that’s what nearby residents wanted.

Our Planning Department created this disaster and then moved on to more important work, such as the failed 8 Washington project, oh well.

Fixes have been tried, but still we’ve got this parade of customers jaywalking back and forth across this stretch of 30 MPH Masonic, thusly, from a few days back:

Click to expand

Cars were coming in the fast lanes both northbound and southbound, so their only choice was to wait for the black car to pass and then sprint behind it.

This game has been going on for years, with many shoppers playing, and some getting hit by vehicles.