Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Now, parking lots in Los Angeles demand you download a tracking app

The LA Times looks at one you're pressured to download if you park at Trader Joe's:

“Metropolis re-engineered the legacy parking experience from the ground-up,” the company’s website declares. “No more tickets, pay machines or gates: At Metropolis, just drive in and drive out.”

If only it was that simple.

First of all, if you use the Metropolis app, you may not be paying just for parking. You may also be charged a “convenience fee” for your re-engineered legacy parking experience.

The company’s terms of service don’t specify how much this fee will run, stating only that the cost is “calculated as a small percentage of the total visit charge.”

But that’s the least of your worries. Metropolis’ more than 4,000-word privacy policy is a minefield of digital pitfalls, revealing parking to be almost an afterthought for a service that’s aggressively focused on learning who you are and how you behave.
And speaking of Los Angeles parking, Vice looks at the "Save Parking Structure 3" campaign in Santa Monica:
Not only is Parking Structure 3 no longer needed, but it would cost the city a pretty penny to keep around. In 2017, the city determined Parking Structure 3 was one of some 2,000 buildings needing “seismic improvements” because it was constructed with concrete before earthquake building standards were in place. It would cost approximately $3 million to do those repairs, the city says, plus another $1.5 million to replace the aging and often broken elevators, for a total maintenance cost of $4.5 million.

...

It is a pattern [a housing advocate] recognizes from opposition to projects across the county, that specific projects tend to be catalysts that ignite existing discontent rather than concentrated actions for clearly-defined reasons. Repeat these fights project after project, in city after city, across the entire country, and you end up with a country some 6.8 million units short of adequately housing its people.