Blog Archives

January 2011 — December 2011

November 07, 2011

Occupy My Space

The Occupy Wallstreet movement has shown it has staying power as it goes into it's 51st day of protests, and continues to attract new attention as it spreads across America and sparks offshoot movements like the recent thrust to invest in local community credit unions. Whatever your view of the demonstrations of civil disobedience, #OWS has established itself as a grassroots movement of average Americans who are uniting together to work for what they believe is important change. Although our ambitions are not as lofty, we'd like to think ...
October 10, 2011

What's Next

Below is our recent newsletter...< > Thank you for your early interest in shared neighborhood parking. We’re still hard at work, and we’d like to give you an update on some of the stuff we are doing. We know it's slow going at first, especially since we are bootstrapping this business with our lunch money, part-time on nights and weekends, but we appreciate your patience and belief in the core concept of neighborhood parking, as we try to figure out the best way to make this work for your community.< > How does Park Circa need to ...
September 29, 2011

Help Wanted: App Developers and Community Volunteers

There's so much work to be done, and not enough time in the day. We have a lot of great ideas, but we need help accomplishing them all. Do you believe in neighborhood sharing? Do you believe people would like to find parking easier? Do you believe we can make the city a better place to live if we can get people out of their cars quicker and out into life? If you have time to be community volunteeer or a paid neighborhood advocate, or you have skills in web development or mobile app development, we need you to join our team. See our Help ...
August 19, 2011

Check-In Notifications

We've added Check-In Notifications for parking space owners to receive an instant notification via email or SMS alert whenever someone checks in and out of their space. An owner can also go to his/her website dashboard to learn more about the transaction. Notifications also give drivers the peace of mind to know that the owner is aware of the transaction. The notification will look like this: Address: 100 Oak Rd Check-In Time: Aug 19 @ 1:00 pm Guest: Chadwick Meyer< > Address: 100 Oak Rd Check-Out Time: Aug 19 @ 4:00 pm Guest: ...
August 10, 2011

Business Portal

We are continuing to add more P2P inventory on our map, and hopefully this will increase as we reach the next phase of our plan for spreading the word to neighbors. But as we continue to focus on building up P2P inventory, we want to make our app as useful as possible to drivers, even in neighborhoods where we don't have a lot of P2P spaces yet. So we are in the process of encouraging businesses, non-profits, and government facilities to list their under-utilized parking spaces during or after hours (e.g. the elementary school lot or the ...
August 05, 2011

Willie Brown Chimes in on Parking

Brian Stokle
Per SF Gate’s Inside Scoop via SFist, Willie Brown paid a visit to the new Locanda Restaurant, a Delfina spinoff in the parking limited Mission District. The former mayor pointedly states at the outset, "I can best describe it as one of the few restaurants in the Mission you can actually get into, because they have valet parking." (emphasis added) Say what you may about Willie and his politics, but his endorsement of valet parking is something we encourage. Being able to arrive at your destination efficiently, either by reserving a space ...
July 26, 2011

Why Are We Adding Garages and Valet?

We have decided to supplement the Peer-to-Peer parking available on our app with alternative parking options (e.g. garages, valet, etc), so that the mobile app is more useful to drivers. We are testing this out in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood to start with, so you'll notice a lot of extra parking options in that neighborhood. We've added unique icons to help you differentiate the various types of parking, in case you prefer one over the other. An updated version of the app will be released soon with the extra options. For right ...
July 01, 2011

Monthly Parking Now Available

A lot of people wanted to share their space on Park Circa, but couldn't because they had a parking space in a secure access parking garage. When we first launched the app could only facilitate parking for publicly accessible spaces, since the driver needed to be able to park without manual coordination with the parking space owner, i.e. they wanted to park right now. However, we've now added the ability for sharing your space on a monthly basis. This can take several forms: Dedicated Monthly Leasing or Monthly Micro-Shared. If you don't ...
July 01, 2011

Flat Rate Pricing

We continue to work on new features and options for parking space owners and drivers. Most recently we've added flat rate pricing for parking spaces. This is great news for spaces listed for events (e.g. concerts, festivals, parades, etc) and popular night time destinations (e.g. North Beach, Hayes Valley, Mission, etc), or for those who just want to set a daily rate for all day. You can also mix and match hourly with flat rates. So when you edit your parking space schedule you can set hourly for certain days or times of day, and flat rates ...
June 22, 2011

One Thousand Users Today

We reached an important milestone today: 1000 people have joined Park Circa as private beta testers. We're still a tiny startup, with no outside funding for marketing or team members outside of our two co-founders and a couple part time volunteers, so that's an exciting number for us. 75% of our members come directly to our site (not linked from other sites), which means that most people are hearing about Park Circa from friends, or our flyers. We're really grateful for all of you that believe in this idea and are willing to help us make it ...
June 20, 2011

Should Have Used Park Circa

This photo was taken yesterday at the Stern Grove Music Festival. This car tried to squeeze into a small space in front of my car and ended up parking partially on the grass of the Park. The DPT was out in force and we saw a lot of tickets on windshields. Next time, maybe they'll consider using Park Circa. There was a great parking space only 100 feet away from this car, which they could have used... would have been much much cheaper.
June 20, 2011

Stern Grove Festival Parking

As one of our event tests, we've been recruiting neighbors to share their driveways around the Sigmund Stern Grove for the Stern Grove Music Festival, a free event that runs every Sunday all summer long. During normal days, there is an overabundance of parking in the neighborhoods surrounding the Grove. But on Sundays, when 10,000 people stream to hear the music and enjoy the beautiful eucalyptus grove, the streets are filled up for a half a mile away (and more when it's a popular concert). We've talked to numerous neighbors that love the ...
June 17, 2011

Photos for Parking Spaces

We've been working on implementing all the great suggestions we've received from you and are happy to announce that you can now upload photos for your parking space. This is now live on the website, and will be available in the next update for iPhone and Android as soon as they are approved. Having a photo will greatly improve drivers' ability to find your house and reassure them that they are indeed parked in the correct space. This will make it more likely that people will use your space. We have added a few photos already, but not all ...
May 06, 2011

Facebook Connect Now Available

We just released a new version of our Mobile Apps, and an update to our website, that allows you to use Facebook Connect to sign up for and sign into Park Circa. We hope it makes it easier for people to join and try it out. Please remember to share Park Circa with all your friends on facebook. Invite them to come use your space and/or to list their own space. We have some great spaces that nobody is using yet because they don't know about them. But in truth, we need to reach some critical mass before the app can be really useful on a broader ...
April 26, 2011

Overstay Fines

In an effort to continue to encourage good behavior and give reassurance to parking space owners that people will not stay in their space longer than the allowed schedule, we've implemented overstay fines. If someone stays past the scheduled time, they will receive an immediate $50 fine (non-negotiable), which is paid directly to the owner (100%). Plus the driver is charged an increased $5/hr charge until check-out. In addition, the driver is liable for towing because they no longer have permission to park there. This may sound harsh to a ...
April 20, 2011

New Privacy Settings

We've taken several recent steps to make sure that sharing your parking space is safer. From the beginning we only allowed registered users to see the parking space details. But now we are also hiding the address of your space from all members, unless they have added credit to their account. By adding credit, they have to use their credit card and in that process we can validate that they are a real person, with a real address. This information establishes a very strong financial identity that can be tracked in the event that any crime is ...
April 20, 2011

Recent Survey Results

Last week we asked you to fill out a survey so we could gain some much needed feedback about what motivates you to share your space and what your biggest concerns are. We also asked for you to prioritize some possible solutions that would address your concerns. Thank you for the overwhelming response. We learned that overwhelmingly the greatest motivation for most people to share their parking space, is so that they can gain access to parking all around the city. This is even more important than making money (for most people). We also got ...
March 23, 2011

New Android Mobile App is now Released

Our beta Android app is now available for smartphones running Android v2.1+. You can download directly from the Android Market on your phone, or view it on the Android Market website. Our apologies for anyone running an older version of Android OS, some of the technology was not fully compatible with our app requirements. We'll see if there is a way to release a version for older phones, but you can probably also upgrade your OS to at least v2.1. Hopefully now that more people can use Park Circa from their mobile phone, we'll appeal to a ...
March 11, 2011

Cost per space in an Average Parking Garage

Recently we discovered that the cost per space in an average Parking Garage is about $40,000 (land, construction, interest, operating and maintenance, etc). Spread out over the lifetime of the space, this equals about $237/mo just to cover costs. But with Park Circa, we can take existing resources that are already built and paid for, and simply put the space to use when it's idle. There is virtually no new cost for the spaces (other than our own administrative and technical infrastructure that is scalable internationally which minimizes the ...
March 10, 2011

Parking is the Single Biggest Land Use in any City

In a video interview with Donald Shoup, UCLA professor of Urban Planning and well known parking expert, he explains that parking is the single biggest land use in any city. And since we know that a huge percentage of the parking spaces are empty while the owner is across town parking somewhere else, we have a lot of urban land that isn't being used. If we could coordinate schedules better, much of that dedicated space could be converted to parks and playgrounds for the community to enjoy. Shoup's goal is to price parking so that there is at ...

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