Parking made convenient

Parking here is undeniably horrible, what with the ruthlessly high fines and pitiless meter maids, who refuse to let you off the hook even when you wink and offer to put their name in your publication for doing such a fine job for the city, Officer Robinson. No? Ugh, ok then, just make sure it doesn't happen again, with Parking Panda.

Launched earlier this week in DC after turning Baltimore into the utterly pleasant metropolis it now probably is, Panda works like OpenTable for parking spots, populating a list of available (often, prime) slabs of asphalt with private user submissions and partnerships with local garages. The spaces (which they assert are generally at least 15-20% below normal market rates) are divided up between daily and monthly, are searchable by desired address, come with photos, and can be reserved and paid for online, unlike Craigslist parking spaces, which require an oft-sketchy meeting (and if you're really unlucky, a meating). Most awesomely, it's all available on a mobile app as well, meaning even if you forget to buy a spot or underestimate how many there'll be up for grabs before you leave, you're still safe. Well, except for the part where you're fiddling with an app while driving.

Next week, they're also introducing one-off "premium" spots for big events (e.g. Caps games), which'll be 100% guaranteed despite costing slightly more, though there's nothing wrong with handing over some cash to get everything squared away, right Officer? No?