Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 23, 2013 at 7:26 PM

Parking app hits Seattle streets

Smartphone apps favor the wealthy

Barry Arnold, chief commercial officer of PayByPhone, demonstrates how a driver could buy parking with an iPad or a cellphone. Beginning with downtown's retail core, drivers are now able to use their phones to pay for on-street parking without needing to visit a pay station. [Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times.]

Barry Arnold, chief commercial officer of PayByPhone, demonstrates how a driver could buy parking with an iPad or a cellphone. Beginning with downtown’s retail core, drivers are now able to use their phones to pay for on-street parking without needing to visit a pay station. [Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times.]

When information technologies came on the scene not long ago, the pundits all chorused about how it would democratize public life, as if the new possibilities would be equally open to all. [“Find your on-street parking spot, then pay for it by phone,” NW Friday, July 19.]

However, all the new gadgets and apps are designed to promise the user a competitive edge over other people. In other words, they are meant to heighten social differences, not reduce them.

Now comes the new parking-meter app, making paying for a spot easier. However, national statistics indicate that nearly 40 percent of Americans don’t have a smartphone.

So, the wealthy and highly-educated will have an edge on simplified parking downtown. The city’s transportation people have assuaged any guilt (if they are even aware of such statistics) by providing a phone number that can be used (if the driver can memorize it and not call while the car is running, in violation of state law) or a website (which the driver can’t access without a smartphone).

Thus, liberal Seattle moves bravely into the future.

Philip Bereano, Seattle

0 Comments | More in Seattle, Transportation | Topics: app, parking, paybyphone

COMMENTS

READER NOTE: Our commenting system has changed. Find out more.

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►