By Caille Millner : sfgate – excerpt
All of this is just to say I have a deep understanding of the difficulties of street parking in San Francisco, particularly in neighborhoods where it can make or break your daily life.
Yet I have deep feelings of conflict about the new “sharing economy” apps being proposed by startups like Sweetch that would charge users for the privilege of being alerted to the existence of an open parking spot…
Did anyone consider the, um, antisocial aspects of an app like this? If someone gets alerted to a parking spot just as an innocent driver spots it and pulls in, then what? Will there be a refund or a fight?
There’s the argument that this is yet another attempt to make private profits off of public space.
Then there’s a less obvious but more important reason. By asking people to pay money for something that used to be free, yet scarce – an empty street parking spot – Sweetch is building yet another inequity into a city that’s currently exploding with inequalities of all kinds… (more)
Thank you for voicing a number of facts and feelings most of us share about the “sharing economy.” It is a misnomer to call it sharing. When money is involved in a transaction it is a commercial transaction. Sharing involves no exchange in funds. We agree with you that the streets are public property and object to the privatization an commercialization of public properties.
To this end a broad spectrum of San Franciscans who use our streets and sidewalks has joined to write a new Declaration of Policy which we hope to get on the November ballot so the voters can voice their opinions on the current anti-parking programs that are eliminating parking and causing traffic congestion, while claiming to solve our problems.
If you feel we need a new approach to parking and traffic management, we suggest you support our efforts to Restore Transportation Balance. By signing the petition to get this on the ballot you will be speaking out against the forces that are eliminating parking and causing the problems. We agree with you that the streets are public property and object to the privatization and commercialization of such.