Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published June 27, 2014 at 9:26 AM | Page modified June 27, 2014 at 8:48 PM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

San Francisco parking app refuses shut-down order

The company behind a mobile app that allows San Francisco drivers to get paid for the public parking spaces they exit has rejected an order from the city attorney to stop its operations.


Associated Press

Reader Comments
Hide / Show comments
@Sea68 Incorrect. San Francisco sells the parking spaces. The company only brokers the sale of information. Despite... MORE
@nwexplorer By your logic, the government instituting a banned book list would be perfectly ok. Free speech does... MORE
I think that the practice is odious, but IMO it is indeed free speech, and if people want to use the Net to tell... MORE

advertising

SAN FRANCISCO —

The company behind a mobile app that allows San Francisco drivers to get paid for the public parking spaces they exit has rejected an order from the city attorney to stop its operations.

MonkeyParking CEO Paolo Dobrowolny said in an email Friday that City Attorney Dennis Herrera is misapplying a police code that prohibits the sale or lease of San Francisco's streets.

Dobrowolny said MonkeyParking doesn't sell parking spots, but convenience. He cites freedom of speech, saying people have the right to tell others they're leaving a parking spot and get paid for it.

"Parked users can make some money just by notifying drivers about the time in which they will leave from a spot," Dobrowolny said. "It just gives our users all they need to be in the right place at the right time when a parking spot is going to become available.

"As people leave from parking spots every day, we are just making that moment a valuable moment for them, while providing a service to drivers looking for parking."

Herrera sent a letter to the Rome, Italy-based company Monday threatening a lawsuit if it doesn't cease operations by July 11. Herrera also asked Apple Inc. to immediately remove MonkeyParking's application from its App Store. Apple has not responded to emails seeking comment, and the app remains available.

The city attorney is also cracking down on two similar smartphone apps that exchange money for parking spaces.

Dobrowolny said he believes he and the other companies have found a new solution to an old problem.

"We are paying people to provide that information before they are going to leave from a parking spot. They get some extra (cash) while drivers avoid cruising for parking," Dobrowolny said. "It's a win-win."

Herrera spokesman Matt Dorsey described MonkeyParking's statements as "verbal gymnastics."

"It's like a prostitute saying she's not selling sex -- she's only selling information about her willingness to have sex with you," Dorsey said in a written statement. "One could similarly imagine drug dealers avoiding 'intent to sell' charges by merely selling information about nearby illicit drugs that are actually available for free.

"But until and unless the law changes, their business is plainly illegal in San Francisco."

___

Follow Terry Collins at https://twitter.com/aptcollins .



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

Also in Business & Technology

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Get ready for 2015

Get ready for 2015

The Seattle Times 12-month wall calendar features hand-picked photos of life in the Pacific Northwest. Order while supplies last!

Advertising

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►