And this is supposed to reduce competition for spots how?

Can’t Find a Parking Spot? Check Smartphone –

Streetline has technology that will display open parking spaces on Web sites that can be accessed through wireless devices like smartphones. They are also developing a low-cost battery-operated street display that will be able to alert drivers to open parking spots nearby.

If there really are too many people looking for too few parking spaces, this system isn’t going to help. Sure, it might make drivers aware of a space here or there that might previously have stayed vacant for a half hour at a time (thereby erasing, by the way, the advantage of local knowledge and pissing off residents of neighborhoods where such spaces exist) but it will also increase the pool of people who are going to compete to get to that space first. It will be like slashdotting, only with cars and sidestreets instead of packets and low-bandwidth connections.

(That first sentence, perhaps interestingly, perhaps not, mirrors the distinction that Krugman makes between a liquidity crisis and an insolvency crisis. If the market just isn’t working efficiently, then things that speed it up will be good, but if there’s a fundamental mismatch between assets and liabilities, then speeding up the final outcome of that fact will be bad, at least in the short term.)


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