You can diminish the negative externalities of free city parking by using an app that lets you charge someone to use the space you vacate.

How Can You Add Value to Your Free Parking Space?

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Jun 8, 2014    •    459 Views

NYC has lots of cheap parking spaces. The result? I (and many like me) have circled blocks, added to greenhouse gases, used precious hours and exacerbated congestion, all to find an empty muni-meter or free spot. As UCLA Professor Donald Shoup has said through his book, The High Cost of Free Parkingcheap city parking can be rather expensive.

Now, with MonkeyParking, I wonder whether we are lowering the cost.

MonkeyParking is a recent addition to the sharing economy. Initiated in San Francisco, a MonkeyParking app pairs someone looking for a space with a person who is parked on the street. Starting at $5, you can pay up to $20 through an online credit card transaction, zoom over to the space, ask the “seller” to leave and it is yours. MonkeyParking says they also operate in Rome and will select a third city through a vote at their website.

MonkeyParking Might Less the Negative Externalities of Free Parking

From: MonkeyParking

Our bottom line? Through the negative externalities it generates, city dwellers experience too high a cost (sacrifice) for cheap parking. Perhaps, by raising the price of city parking, MonkeyParking is actually lowering the cost.

Do you think MonkeyParking is creating a positive externality or will selling a spot you do not own lead to unexpected consequences? Please let us know in a comment.

Sources and more...Perfectly paired, Wired tells about MonkeyParking and Freakonomics has a discussion of "free parking" from Donald Shoup. Also, here and here, econlife has looked at how the market, supply and demand are making free parking pricier.

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