Parking in the city is a delicate ballet that requires a nuanced understanding of traffic flow patterns, alternate side parking, and...wait, is that Prius leaving? Dear f*%#ing god, pull over...F*%#ING PULL OVER!!!!! Easing the automotive burden, ParkShark.
From a Chappaqua software developer and his Bronx-via-Ukraine pardner, this free iPhone app uses location awareness and, naturally, secret algorithms to assist a "community of cooperating parking citizens" looking to share spots, an idea hatched after "cruising up and down the side streets of Manhattan looking for an elusive on-street parking spot. We felt like a great white shark searching for its next meal. That meal, in our case, was a parking spot.". Like the name's origin, the gig's pretty simple: parked users upload info like whether the spot's metered, their whip's make/model, and estimated time of departure; all deets get real-time uploaded onto an interactive map filterable by factors like date & time of availability and distance from a fellow parker up to a max of 10 miles -- at which point snagging the space is as simple as briskly navigating the Cross-Bronx. Good citizenship's promoted via a five-star rating system informed by your spot-sharing habits, with higher-rated peeps able to view spaces before lower-rated peers, upping their odds, and upping their peers' tally of blown red lights.
In case nothing's available (they are still building membership), Shark also maps NYC parking garages; in a few weeks they'll hook up direct feeds from traffic cams, as well as individual street parking rules, and...yo, is that meter maid writing you a ticket? Dear god GET THE F* OUT OF THERE!!!
Published: January 25, 2010 at 4:00am EST
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