Daily 49er

Parking app released in time for busy Grand Prix weekend

Tech startup has found a home in Long Beach.

Screenshot+of+available+parking+spots+through+the+Pied+Parker+app.+
Screenshot of available parking spots through the Pied Parker app.

Screenshot of available parking spots through the Pied Parker app.

Screenshot of available parking spots through the Pied Parker app.

Alex Ormeno-Manfredi, Staff Writer

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Imagine a mobile app within the realms of Uber or Airbnb, but for parking. It’s a new app called Pied Parker, made to help with parking issues people face in busy downtown areas with limited amounts of spots.

Based out of Palo Alto near the heart of the Silicon Valley, the app is being launched both in the San Francisco area and Long Beach. While Pied Parker did not have the initial intentions of expanding to Southern California so soon, Long Beach Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce, District 2, learned about the app and was supportive of it very early on in its development. Long Beach is known for impacted parking, whether it’s at CSULB or in the city.

“I did some mapping on Long Beach and found there’s a lot of commerce and traffic and that blossomed to our next steps of: Do we add this to our plan? and the answer was yes,” creator of the app Gianni Maxemin said.

According to Maxemin, Pearce was handling a lot of parking issues in her district when they connected.

“Pied Parker is a perfect example of technology that city leaders can harness when the status quo just isn’t moving fast enough. We needed more parking, so we brought together residents, business owners, an innovative tech startup to get the job done,” Councilwoman Pearce said in an interview with the Huffington Post.

Pied Parker allows owners of private parking spots to post them on the app for visitors to pay to park at. As an owner, you simply need a driveway or any available owned parking and register it with the app. From there, you can set the hours the parking space is open and the hourly price for the spot.

“[The city council was] very honest and opened doors to help us,” Maxemin said. “We fell in love with Long Beach. Councilwoman Pearce called us in and got connected with us and the connection blossomed with them from there.”

The company’s goal is to reduce traffic congestion in big cities, while saving drivers time and adding income for owners of parking spaces that can be rented out. With the Toyota Grand Prix in town this weekend, the Pied Parker app comes in handy with alleviating downtown traffic.

“We’re basically blending and partnering with a lot of parking companies to create a solution for parking,” Maxemin said. “We’re not just one of many apps. We’re looking to become a household name. We’re the only real parking company that truly asks if the spots are actually owned by someone willing to rent out their space.”

Drivers trying to park near their destinations can find a parking spot without having to pay high prices for street or public garage parking. Users who go beyond the deadline can be subject to a surcharge, such as three times the amount paid for the space. Through the app, text messages  alert the driver when their parking time is nearly up, and then completely up.

According to Maxemin, the company plans to focus on Long Beach for the next few months and then move on to Sacramento, Berkeley and other Bay Area cities.

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