Haystack, the controversial app that allows users to commoditize public property by selling access to parking spaces, and that by its very nature pits the tech-savvy against those without smartphones in the sometimes epic quest to find street parking, is likely looking at a death sentence in Boston. All signs are that the city council is prepared to pass an ordinance today that will essentially end Haystack’s ability to operate in the city. (Update: The ordinance passed.)
Haystack founder and CEO Eric Meyer has said the app has been much more warmly received in his home city of Baltimore, where it launched more than a month before it began operating in its second city, Boston.
It’s true that Baltimore officials haven’t taken the hard-and-fast movement to outright ban pay-for-parking-access apps like Boston has. But at least one city councilor’s reasoning doesn’t really qualify as an endorsement of the idea.
“It’s creative, but we think it’s going to die an actual death, so at this point we’re letting it go,” (Baltimore City Councilor Jim) Kraft said. “If it becomes more of a problem we’ll deal with it.”
Meyer has said there have been about 1,000 Haystack transactions between the two cities of Baltimore and Boston. Anecdotal experience from Boston.com and The Boston Globe have shown pretty lukewarm demand up here.
Read more about Haystack’s struggles to get off the ground in Boston below.