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MonkeyParking Temporarily Disables Parking App In San Francisco

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Screen images from Monkey Parking app. (Paolo Dobrowolny)

Screen images from Monkey Parking app. (Paolo Dobrowolny)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The controversial service that allowed San Francisco drivers to auction off parking spaces via an iPhone app has been temporarily disabled in the San Francisco area.

According to a post on its blog, MonkeyParking said that in light of the cease and desist letter MonkeyParking received from the City of San Francisco, “we are currently reviewing our service to clarify our value proposition and avoid future misunderstandings.”

The blog also said the company is “working to avoid any possible improper use of our service and provide a positive tool for the City of San Francisco and its inhabitants.”

In late June, City Attorney Dennis Herrera issued the cease-and-desist letter to the Rome-based startup.  Herrera also sent a request to the legal department of Apple Inc. to immediately remove the mobile application from its App Store because he said it violates Apple’s own guidelines on legal requirements for apps.

MonkeyParking CEO Paolo Dobrowolny had previously refused to halt operations in San Francisco despite the order from Herrera’s office.  “I have the right to tell people if I am about to leave a parking spot, and they have the right to pay me for such information,” he had said in a statement.

The stated mission of MonkeyParking is to get rid of circling the block while looking for parking and turning “a random parking process into a predictable one, saving people time while also reducing traffic congestion and generated pollution.”

MonkeyParking is one of several parking apps that have been the target of the city attorney’s office.

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