Take my parking space, please!

This past Friday, I was searching for an open spot on University Avenue in Berkeley and noticed a few students offering up their minimalist driveways to concertgoers who arrived too late to find parking on the UC campus. I was wary of what these budding econ majors might be charging in the high-demand, low-supply environment they were living. Eventually, we settled for a space about 12 miles from the Greek Theatre and made the trek by foot. "Is it walking distance from here?" my girlfriend asked. "Isn't everything within walking distance?" was my response. The darting look and squinting eyes made it clear that that was the wrong answer.

Thankfully, the idea of parking in someone else's driveway has gained some organization, in the form of www.parkatmyhouse.com. The website, setup by Anthony Eskinazi, a 23-year old mathematics grad, was inspired by a recent trip to S.F., where, before a Giants game, he saw hundreds of cars waiting in the queue to get into the lots around the stadium, but saw dozens of unused spaces in front of people's home.

Upon his return to the U.K., he setup his site which brings space-seekers in touch with space-sellers, free of charge. The driveways, lots and garages available are laid out in Google maps, with all the nearest events, venues, movie theaters, restaurants, pubs and even public transportation in the surrounding area, shown. Through the site, the parker will identify how much time they will need, between one and several hours, and then send a form to prospective sellers.

Mr. Eskinazi makes it clear that the prices set should be fair and reasonable for the time and space, but he stays out of the negotiation process. Generally, he has found that the price of parking provided by his site is normally less than the charge at most larger venues. He has plans on extending the service to Australia and the U.S.

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