Striking a Chord
Web developer Victor Pontis has had enough of cars in San Francisco — parking spaces, he says, just take up too much space.
His idea: turn the prime real estate of parking spots into coworking spaces, complete with desks and chairs, that he called WePark — and charge only the price of a parking meter, which is a fraction of the price of other local coworking spaces.
I have set up at 16th and Market and paid the meter a reasonable $2.75 for one hour.
Stop by and say hi! pic.twitter.com/qJCJudEWsh
— Victor Pontis (@VictorPontis) April 25, 2019
The experiment struck a nerve — especially considering the skyrocketing rent in the Californian metropolis — and picked up widespread press coverage.
"Car parking squanders space that can be used for the public good — bike lanes, larger sidewalks, retail, cafes, more housing," Pontis told Vice. "Let’s use city streets for people, not cars."
Great first official day of WePark!
We had 3 events across the world today:
- @valdecarpentrie in France
- @graybright in Santa Monica
- @VictorPontis + 30 others in San Francisco. (Recap coming soon.)
And we hear more are coming soon to a city near you! pic.twitter.com/cGnea3G9VQ
— wepark (@weparkweparty) April 30, 2019
Pontis got the idea from a tweet by developer Devon Zuegel, who posted a picture of a specialized bike carrier vehicle that can fit eight bikes in a single parking spot.
This mobile parklet fits 8 bikes. With a license plate, it can be legally parked anywhere for the price of parking 1 car. Genius. https://t.co/cFshYA4C1N pic.twitter.com/p6xTfLd5CA
— Devon (@devonzuegel) March 29, 2019
Everybody Park Now
WePark has quickly garnered the attention from freelancers across the globe. Its operations have expanded to Santa Monica — and a related event even took place in France.
The question remains: is WePark more than a publicity stunt that takes a clear stance against San Francisco's — perhaps even an American — obsession with cars? That's hard to tell. But momentum is growing behind the idea regardless.
READ MORE: A Rogue Coder Turned a Parking Spot into a Coworking Space and People Loved It [Vice]
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