Sunday, July 26, 2009

Million Dollar Idea Up For Grabs

Lately, at least three times a week, I've been waking up at exactly 4:00am. Usually, I'm just cranky because I'm awake so early. This morning, I had an idea brewing, so I didn't mind being awake.

As you know, the parking situation on my street sucks. There are three bars/ clubs within walking distance whose patrons like to forgo valet service and find street parking. Residents of my street petitioned the city and went to meetings until we finally got it zoned as a Permit Only area after 6pm. This doesn't stop the club goers from parking there, but it gives us a small satisfaction knowing they are likely to pay $53 in parking fines. However, the clubbers are not my biggest enemy. No, it's my neighbors who don't understand the finer points of parallel parking, like if you're the first one on the street, pull all the way up to the red zone. Or, if you're second or third, pull up to the car in front of you leaving adequate (NOT AMPLE) space between the cars for you or them to pull out. Last night when I got home, I noticed that the car in front of me was getting ready to pull out. I sat in my car and waited so that I could pull forward. The woman in the car gave me dirty looks (like I was stealing her spot even though the rest of the street was empty) but finally pulled out, after which I proceeded to pull forward. An hour later when I went out to take my trash can around back, the woman had returned and left enough room for half a car to fit between us, thereby cutting the parking area on the street from 7 cars to 6 1/2.

So, here's my idea--movable plates (or something, although not a conveyor belt because that would not work for step 2, which you'll see later) on the side of the road would move the parked cars closer so that everyone is equally spaced and you can fit the maximum amount of cars parked regardless of any driver's skills. The first car pulls up all the way to the red (or not, it won't really matter), parks, gets out, and walks away. The automatic car mover would move it forward (or back if the driver overshot) so that it is perfectly aligned with the red zone. The next car pulls up behind the first and does the whole parking thing. Then the car mover moves that car so that it is right behind the first, leaving enough room fore and aft so that cars don't get scratched. See Exhibit A.
For the purpose of demonstration, only four fit on this street. Nina, in her pink Mini, wants to leave. She gets in her car. The automatic car movers sense the shift in weight (not saying anything about the driver, the movers are just very sensitive) and begins moving the other cars in line forward and backward, giving Nina sufficient space to pull out of the spot and --beep beep--she's off to someplace fabulous or possibly work. The automatic car mover then readjusts the cars. See Exhibit B.
You get the picture, right? Now, go! Run with it! It's yours for the taking. I have no inventor-type skills and still believe things run on Elfin Magic, so it's of no use to me. If you can make this work, I will not ask you for a cut of the profits, just that you install the first one on my street and name it something cool like the AFPA* or NMD**. Maybe then I won't get the hairy eyeball from the lady in the white "Jesus Saves" Xterra when I wait to pull forward.

*Asshole Free Parking Apparatus
**No More Douchebags
Obviously, these names would not work for the mass marketing of said invention, so I'm not holding out much hope on you using them.


Anne-Marie said...

I had this sort of idea once. The only flaw I see with your plan is if its a long street, and someone parks near their house and lots of cars come and go, their car might end up half a mile or so down the street.

The idea I had was that all the spaces were the same size and you pull up next to an empty space and the moving plate then moves you sideways into the space.

Either way, we need moving plates! These ideas are genius.

the slackmistress said...

Genius! And the pink mini thanks you for the cameo!

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