Yesterday was broker’s tour, and by the 2:00pm tour block I was famished. So I (very quickly) darted into Precita Park Cafe to grab a healthy snack (you know, like a cookie). While I was there, I stumbled across an advertisement for curbtxt – a service that describes itself as “Neighbors helping neighbors avoid the pitfalls of city parking.”

The premise is pretty simple – register your car with the service by texting from license plate from your cell phone. Then, if someone sees your car when it is in a hazardous situation (during street cleaning, for example), they can notify you through the service that your car is about to be ticketed. And then you can run out and move your car, avoiding an expensive ticket!

CurbTxt advertises itself as both anonymous and free, and also as being only for Bernal Heights residents. And while I know Bernal is special, I’m sure it’s just starting out in Bernal and that there is nothing unique to the geography or inhabitants of the neighborhood that would require you to live in the neighborhood… For it to be effective, you obviously need a critical mass in one geographic area, so it makes sense to roll it out on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis.

The only downside that I see to it is that when you’ve left your car in a situation that will result in a parking ticket (rush-hour tow-away zone, street cleaning, etc.), how frustrating is it to get a text message telling you that you’re about to get a ticket, and you are in a situation (say, working at your job on the other side of the city) where you can do absolutely nothing about it. Is it better to know you’re about to get a ticket, or is it better to just be unhappily surprised when you get home from work/play/vacation, etc?

If you’ve had experience with curbtxt, either good or bad, I’d love to hear about your experience

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