CurbTXT is both a brilliant idea and a terrible one. The concept is simplicity itself: You sign up for the service, using your license plate and phone number, and then, people can contact you directly about your parking job and general automotive behavior.
The only problem is that it’s not mandatory.
It’s a brilliant idea because, currently, the only way to communicate with other drivers is either by tow truck or by passive-aggressive windshield wiper note. Or screaming and rude hand gestures, but that’s generally ill-advised and not really a good way to tell somebody “Hey, your meter has run out” or “You are practically parked in the middle of the street.”
This would allow you to anonymously text somebody via license plate; they have no idea who you are, and vice versa. The idea is that you send a polite message along the lines of “Your car is blocking my driveway, please move it” or “It is disrespectful to park your BMW across two spaces.” Even better, pedestrians and cyclists can use it, so “Get out of the bike lane” and “The crosswalk is not a parking spot” are possibilities.
The terrible part is that, let’s face it, we’ve all wanted the opportunity to call the guy who cut us off a litany of the most creative profanity in the English language and this would finally give it to us. Abusive users can be reported, naturally, but even so, we’re not sure controlling people’s rage is possible on some topics.
Granted, some people will not get the message unless a tow truck is hauling their car down the street, or their BMW is somehow filled with manure by a dashing anonymous vigilante, but having the option to tell our fellow drivers what they’re doing wrong is a useful one.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, my manure guy is here.