Is there a cure for parking headaches? The creators of a new free app introduced in Brooklyn this week, SpotPog, hope that a community-minded tech approach is the answer.
The app lets users both identify parking spots and reserve them, as well as offer a spot to someone else — and at least a few city officials are fans.
“Circling for parking causes tons of preventable street-level pollution a year, creating health risks in our neighborhoods,” New York City Council Environmental Chair Donovan Richards said to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
“Brooklyn has a serious parking problem,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams told the Eagle. “We need an innovative approach to help residents find spots in their own neighborhoods.”
Unlike the short-lived version of the MonkeyParking app that gave drivers the power to auction off street parking spaces before vacating them (the app was launched in San Francisco last year and quickly quashed by the city), SpotPog is a more neighborly exchange. Money isn’t part of the equation, but users earn credits for giving away a free spot that they can use to reserve spots in the future.
Users can, however, list private garages or driveways as paid parking spaces, with SpotPog taking a cut for operations — and also, creators say, to make charitable donations.
Obviously, community cooperation is key to making the app a success, and some have already taken to social media to express reactions to SpotPog.
That was a first: @SpotPog just rang our bell doing door to door canvassing to big-up their app— Josh Goldfein (@joshgoldfein) June 16, 2015
Amazing new app to find a parking space in Brooklyn. Everyone should download @SpotPog immediately.— Jason Koppel (@JasonKoppel) June 23, 2015
Marielle Mondon is an editor and freelance journalist in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia City Paper, Wild Magazine, and PolicyMic. She previously reported on communities in Northern Manhattan while earning an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University.