Urbification: Taking the sub out of Calif. suburbs

Walking. Bicycling. Alternatives to Driving Everywhere. Social justice. Alternatives to suburban boredom and waste. And the infrastructure and technology needed to get there.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Whenever suburbanites rail against limiting parking supply, ultimately the debate turns around to the high number of pay-parking spots where meters are inoperative. While listening to a prerecorded November panel discussion at the Digital Identity World conference, I heard high tech guru Esther Dyson recount how Estonia has solved this problem: "If you want to park in Estonia, you find a parking place and you register yourself as parked in a city database. The meter maid comes along, types in your license number, and if you're registered as parked, no problem. If you're not registered as parked, you're illegally parking, you haven't paid. The only challenge is to unpark when you leave your parking spot. It's great. You need none of the parking infrastructure you need in less developed countries." The crowd laughed heartily at that point. I wonder what Estonians do if they don't have a cell phone to register the spot, though: use a pay phone?

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