Los Angeles Wants to Ban Parking Space Sales Via Apps

In an 11-0 vote, the council requested that the City Attorney’s office draft a measure to ensure that parking spaces are not hoarded by companies and are fully available to the general public.

by Rick Orlov, Daily News (TNS) / October 20, 2014

With parking spaces at a premium in certain parts of the city, the Los Angeles City Council on Friday asked for a law banning the auctioning off of parking spaces through new apps available on mobile phones.

In an 11-0 vote without comment, the council requested that the City Attorney’s office draft a measure similar to what other cities have done to ensure that parking spaces are not hoarded by companies and are fully available to the general public.

The apps, developed by companies such as MonkeyParking and Haystack, send out messages on parking spaces they’ve secured and then sell them to eager drivers. The person in the spot shares the money paid with the company.

The move is part of a growing “sharing” economy that has hit other industries, such as the taxi services Uber and Lyft.

But the selling of parking spaces has hit a nerve with the public.

“These predatory parking apps allow mobile phone users to squat on public parking spaces and auction them off to the highest bidder,” a report to the council said. “(It) threatens to further reduce the availability of street parking in many Los Angeles neighborhoods that already suffer from too few parking options.”

Critics say the businesses hire people to drive around high-impact areas and take parking spaces as they open up, which are then relayed to the company.

Beverly Hills has a similar ban in place, as has Boston. Several other cities either have implemented a law or are seeking authority to quash the practice.

©2014 the Daily News (Los Angeles)