Building LA Street Sweeping App
TLDR; We are building an app to help the people of LA navigate street sweeping. Follow along as we document the journey here.
It only took me one street sweeping ticket for the idea to take seed. After doing some searching and not being able to find any great maps of the street sweeping zones in LA, I went ahead and bought some domains. Add them to the collection. In the collection, they sat, for 3 years with only a couple of small attempts to start the project. There was never enough motivation to take the project all the way.
Parking was one of my most constant and persistent worries. All-day, every day, I would constantly think, where is my car, what day is it, what time is it, ohhh $h!t. I've run to my car just in time before parking enforcement came and once as they were writing my ticket. I've parked a 20 minute walk away late at night. I've sat and worked obliviously through my car getting ticketed. It takes up so much of my thinking and yet I don't even know some of the basics like where the boundaries are for my street sweeping zone.
Enter the pandemic, you know the one. The city of Los Angeles decided to lift street sweeping requirements and did not hand out tickets for around seven months. That was amazing. For the first time in years, I was able to forget about my car for a bit.
The relaxing of parking enforcement allowed us to stop thinking about our cars or get fresh air while we moved them and instead allowed us to obsess over the news and hide in-doors with no reason to go out! We never did go out and it turns out that when you leave your old car out in the hot streets of LA for a few weeks...it dies. Both mine and my girlfriend's cars died. Over the course of several weeks, I got really good at jumping our cars. Thanks to our emergency, turned essential, jump start battery kit which is basically a battery bank with jumper cables attached.
During the summer, I moved and I now have dedicated covered parking so I'm happy to say I no longer live in the world of street parking. It was important to have lived that experience. You can't truly appreciate what you have unless you've lived without.
October 15th was the day street sweeping enforcement started up again. As this date approached, I kept being reminded of street sweeping through news articles. About a week before that date, I started building. In my head, I wanted to have a quick version live before that date but that was wildly unrealistic. This kind of project takes way more work than you would think that it should. I don't have any high hopes for this project generating any income for myself but rather I'm hoping I can give a useful tool to the people of LA that doesn't break my bank to support it.
I want to build a tool for our city that would help people avoid tickets and avoid worry. I'm going to build with an iterative approach. To start, it's going to be a relatively simple website with an interactive map of all of the street sweeping zones and the schedules for those. It's difficult to believe but it is not easy to look up the boundaries of street sweeping zones.
For even just this simple version, it's requiring a lot of work and difficult technical decisions. I'm building this tool for the community so I'm going to be building this in public. I have some feature ideas mapped out but I would love to hear from others on what they'd like to see.
Follow the journey
Follow on Twitter. @LAStSweeping
Visit the website LAStreetSweeping.com