Los Angeles Third Street Parking Conundrum

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PT’s Parking Blog, Parking Today recently wrote an article on the parking problems in Los Angeles in the Third Street Corridor.  You can view the original article here.

Apparently on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays the place is packed and parking is a near nightmare.  John Van Horn said,

“The answer is that during the time that these restaurants need parking, many of the other stores don’t. There is parking behind each store that is used by employees during the day, but empty at night. The bank on the corner has an underground parking area that is empty after 5 pm. That new building across from “Toast” has a roof full of parking that is unused.”

This shows a complete disconnect in the way parking is done in the area.  There is ample parking because of the hours and types of businesses in the areas.  They need parking spots at different times, and when one needs more spots, there are ample amounts of parking spaces nearby but they are not allowed to use them.  The cost of using these spaces in off hours would be much less than building a new parking structure or lot.  The owner of the parking spots whether a dry cleaner or bank could make extra money renting out their spots to Sunday brunch parkers, people going out on a Friday or Saturday night, or whoever needs the extra spots.  Street Valets cutting deals with merchants is one possible solution.  This could work, but it is difficult for the owner of the parking spots to know how many people actually parked there.  What if the merchants had complete control over the price, number of cars, and hours over the parkers?  This is what SpotHero is aiming to do.  SpotHero allows anyone to rent out their parking spaces when they are not using them.  The bank could list the number of spaces available when it’s closed and others in the area going to restaurants and bars and such could pay to park there.  SpotHero would facilitate the efficiency of collaborative consumption of parking spots benefiting local businesses and their patrons.