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Parking is the act of stopping a vehicle
Vehicle
A vehicle is a device that is designed or used to transport people or cargo. Most often vehicles are manufactured, such as bicycles, cars, motorcycles, trains, ships, boats, and aircraft....

 and leaving it unoccupied for more than a brief time. Parking on one or both sides of a road is commonly permitted, though often with restrictions. Parking facilities are constructed in combination with most buildings, to facilitate the coming and going of the buildings' users.

Parking facilities


Parking facilities include indoor and outdoor private property belonging to a house
House
A house is a building or structure that has the ability to be occupied for dwelling by human beings or other creatures. The term house includes many kinds of different dwellings ranging from rudimentary huts of nomadic tribes to free standing individual structures...

, the side of the road
Road
A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two places, which typically has been paved or otherwise improved to allow travel by some conveyance, including a horse, cart, or motor vehicle. Roads consist of one, or sometimes two, roadways each with one or more lanes and also any...

 where metered or laid-out for such use, a parking lot
Parking lot
A parking lot , also known as car lot, is a cleared area that is intended for parking vehicles. Usually, the term refers to a dedicated area that has been provided with a durable or semi-durable surface....

(American English) or car park (British English), indoor and outdoor multi-level structures, shared underground parking facilities, and facilities for particular modes of vehicle such as dedicated structures for cycle parking.

In the U.S., after the first public parking garage for motor vehicles was opened in Boston, May 24, 1898, livery stables in urban centers began to be converted into garages. In cities of the Eastern US, many former livery stables, with lifts for carriages, continue to operate as garages today.

The following terms give regional variations. All except carport
Carport
A carport is a covered structure used to offer limited protection to vehicles, primarily cars, from the elements. The structure can either be free standing or attached to a wall. Unlike most structures a carport does not have four walls, and usually has one or two...

refer to outdoor multi-level parking facilities. In some regional dialects, some of these phrases refer also to indoor or single-level facilities.
  • Parking ramp (used in some parts of the upper Midwestern United States
    Midwestern United States
    The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

    , especially Minneapolis
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Minneapolis , nicknamed "City of Lakes" and the "Mill City," is the county seat of Hennepin County, the largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota, and the 48th largest in the United States...

    , but sometimes seen as far east as Buffalo, New York
    Buffalo, New York
    Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

    ). Elsewhere, the term "ramp" would apply to the inclines between floors of a parking garage, but not to the entire structure itself.
  • Multi-storey car park
    Multi-storey car park
    A multi-storey car-park is a building designed specifically to be for car parking and where there are a number of floors or levels on which parking takes place...

  • Car park (UK, Hong Kong, South Africa)
  • Parking structure (Western U.S.)
  • Parking garage (Canada and USA, where this term does not always distinguish between outdoor above-ground multi-level parking and indoor underground parking.
  • Parking deck (Eastern USA, an outdoor above-ground multi-level parking facility)
  • Carport (open-air single-level covered parking)
  • Cycle park (UK)
  • Parkade (Canada)


In addition to basic car parking/parking lots variations of serviced parking types exist. Common serviced parking types are:
  • Park and ride
    Park and ride
    Park and ride facilities are car parks with connections to public transport that allow commuters and other people wishing to travel into city centres to leave their vehicles and transfer to a bus, rail system , or carpool for the rest of their trip...

  • Valet Parking
    Valet parking
    Valet parking is a parking service offered by some restaurants, stores, and other businesses, particularly in North America. In contrast to "self-parking", where customers find a parking space on their own, customers' vehicles are parked for them by a person called a valet...

  • Airport Parking
  • Meet and Greet Parking
  • Park and Fly Parking

Modes of parking



For most motorised vehicles, there are three basic modes of parking, based on the arrangement of vehicles — parallel parking
Parallel parking
thumb|250px|right|Parallel-parked cars in [[Washington, D.C.]]thumb|250px|right|A motorist gets assistance parallel-parkingParallel parking is a method of parking a vehicle in line with other parked cars. Cars parked in parallel are in one line, parallel to the curb, with the front bumper of each...

, perpendicular parking, and angle parking. These are self-park configurations where the vehicle driver is able to access the parking independently.

Parallel parking


With parallel parking of cars, these are arranged in a line, with the front bumper of one car facing the back bumper of an adjacent one. This is done parallel to a curb
Curb (road)
A curb, or kerb , is the edge where a raised pavement/sidewalk/footpath, road median, or road shoulder meets an unraised street or other roadway.-Function:...

, when one is provided. Parallel parking is the most common mode of streetside parking for cars. It may also be used in parking lots and parking structures, but usually only to supplement parking spaces that use the other modes.

Perpendicular parking



With perpendicular parking of cars, these are parked side to side, perpendicular to an aisle, curb, or wall. This type of car parking is more scalable than parallel parking and is therefore commonly used in car parking lots and car parking structures.

Often, in car parking lots using perpendicular parking, two rows of parking spaces may be arranged front to front, with aisles in between. If no other cars are blocking, a driver may perform a "pullthrough" by driving through one parking space
Parking space
A parking space is a location that is designated for parking, either paved or unpaved.Parking spaces can be in a parking garage, in a parking lot or on a city street. It is usually designated by a white-paint-on-tar rectangle indicated by three lines at the top, left and right of the designated area...

 into the connecting space to avoid having to reverse out of a parking space upon their return.

Sometimes, a single row of perpendicular car parking spaces is marked in the center of a street. This arrangement eliminates reversing from the manoeuvre; cars are required to drive in forwards and drive out forwards.

Angle parking/echelon parking



Angle parking, known as echelon parking in Britain, of cars is similar to perpendicular parking for these vehicles, except that cars are arranged at an angle to the aisle (an acute angle with the direction of approach). The gentler turn allows easier and quicker parking, narrower aisles, and thus higher density than perpendicular parking. While in theory the aisles are one-way, in practice they are typically wide enough to allow two cars to pass slowly when drivers go down the aisles the wrong way.

Angle parking is very common in car parking lots. It may also be used in streetside car parking in the U.S. when there is more width available for car parking than would be needed for parallel parking of cars, as it creates a larger number of parking spaces. Some cities have utilized angled parking on-street (as compared to off-street parking facilities). This has been done mostly in residential, retail and mixed use areas where additional parking compared to parallel parking is desired and traffic volumes are lower. Most angled parking is design in a head-in configuration while a few cities (Seattle
Seattle, Washington
Seattle is the county seat of King County, Washington. With 608,660 residents as of the 2010 Census, Seattle is the largest city in the Northwestern United States. The Seattle metropolitan area of about 3.4 million inhabitants is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the country...

, Portland
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

, Baltimore, and Indianapolis
Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...

 are examples) have some back-in angled parking (typically on hills or low traffic volume streets).

Angle parking is considered dangerous by cycling organisations, especially in the head-in configuration, but unwelcome in either form. When comparing to parallel parking:
  1. There is a significant risk to cyclists from vehicles reversing out, as approaching bicycles are in the blind spot of the reversing and turning vehicles.
  2. Longer vehicles project further into the road; this can inconvenience/endanger other road users,
  3. The "surplus" road space which enables angle parking could also be used for bicycle lanes.

Hence organisations such as the Cyclists Touring Club are usually opposed to all proposed echelon parking schemes, though there are some alternatives, such as "back in" angle parking (slanted the "wrong" way, with the driver reversing into the space, rather than reversing out), which can overcome many of the issues of safety.

Other parking methods


Besides these basic modes of motor vehicle parking, there are instances where a more ad hoc approach to arranging motor vehicles is appropriate. For example, in parts of some large cities, such as Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, where land is expensive and therefore parking space is at a premium, there are parking lots for motor vehicles where the driver leaves the keys to the vehicle with an attendant who arranges vehicles so as to maximize the number of vehicles that can be parked in the lot. Vehicles may be packed up to five vehicles deep in combinations of perpendicular and/or parallel parking with limited circulation aisles for the parking attendant. Such arrangements are known as attendant parking. When the lot or facility is provided to serve the customers of a business, it is considered valet parking
Valet parking
Valet parking is a parking service offered by some restaurants, stores, and other businesses, particularly in North America. In contrast to "self-parking", where customers find a parking space on their own, customers' vehicles are parked for them by a person called a valet...

.

Inner city
Inner city
The inner city is the central area of a major city or metropolis. In the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland, the term is often applied to the lower-income residential districts in the city centre and nearby areas...

 parking lots are often temporary, the operators renting land which is vacant pending the construction of a new office building. Some inner city lots are equipped with individual lifts, allowing cars to be stored above each other.

Another ad hoc arrangement is tandem parking. This is sometimes done with residential motor vehicle parking where two motor vehicles park nose-to-end in tandem. The first motor vehicle does not have independent access, and the second motor vehicle must move to provide access. As with attendant parking, the purpose is to maximize the number of motor vehicles that can park in a limited space.

Economics of parking


In congested urban areas parking of motor vehicles is time-consuming and sometimes expensive. Urban planners must consider whether and how to accommodate or 'demand manage' potentially large numbers of motor vehicles in small geographic areas. Usually the authorities set minimum, or more rarely maximum, numbers of motor vehicle parking spaces for new housing and commercial developments, and may also plan its location and distribution to influence its convenience and accessibility. The costs or subsidies of such parking accommodations can become a heated point in local politics. For example, in 2006 the San Francisco Board of Supervisors considered a controversial zoning
Zoning
Zoning is a device of land use planning used by local governments in most developed countries. The word is derived from the practice of designating permitted uses of land based on mapped zones which separate one set of land uses from another...

 plan to limit the number of motor vehicle parking spaces available in new residential developments.

In the graph to the right the value above the line represents the out-of-pocket cost per trip, per person for each mode of transportation, the value below the line accounts for subsidies, environmental impact, social and indirect costs. When cities charge market rates for on-street parking and municipal parking garages for motor vehicles, and when bridges and tunnels are tolled for these modes, driving becomes less competitive in terms of out-of-pocket costs than other modes of transportation. When municipal motor vehicle parking is underpriced and roads are not tolled, the shortfall in tax expenditures by drivers, through gas tax and other taxes amounts to a very large subsidy for automobile use. The size of this subsidy for cars dwarfs the federal, state, and local subsidies for the maintenance of infrastructure and discounted fares for public transportation.

Where car parking spaces are a scarce commodity, and owners have not made suitable arrangements for their own parking, ad hoc overspill parking
Overspill parking
Overspill parking is the parking of vehicles beyond the main area provided for the purpose. It can occur because provided parking spaces are insufficient for demand or considered unsatisfactory for some reason...

 often takes place along sections of road where there is no planned scheme by a municipal authority to formally allocate roadspace to the car. Heated social discourse sometimes revolves around the sense of "ownership" that informally arises amongst individuals displaying overspill parking behaviour. For example, during the winter of 2005 in Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, the practice of some people saving convenient overspill roadway for themselves became controversial. At that time, many Boston regions had a tradition that if a person shoveled the snow out of a roadspace, that person could claim ownership of that space with some kind of marker (e.g. a chair or orange cone) in the space. However, city government defied that custom and cleared markers out of spaces. Indeed, parking space in Boston is such a rare commodity that in 2009 a single parking space in the Back Bay neighborhood sold for $300,000.

Festivals and sporting events often spawn a cottage industry of parking. Homeowners, schools, and businesses often make extra money by charging a flat-rate fee
Fee
A fee is the price one pays as remuneration for services. Fees usually allow for overhead, wages, costs, and markup.Traditionally, professionals in Great Britain received a fee in contradistinction to a payment, salary, or wage, and would often use guineas rather than pounds as units of account...

 for all-day parking during the event. In some countries, such 'cottage industry parking has become large-scale business. The UK airport parking industry is currently estimated to be worth 1.3 billion GBP per year.

According to the International Parking Institute, "parking is a $25 billion industry and plays a pivotal role in transportation, building design, quality of life and environmental issues"

Performance parking


Donald C. Shoup in 2005 argued in his The High Cost of Free Parking book against the large consumption of land and other resources in urban and suburban areas for motor vehicle parking. Shoup's work has been popularized along with market-rate parking and performance parking, both of which raise and lower the price of metered street parking with the goal of reducing cruising for parking and double parking without overcharging for parking.

'Performance parking' or variable-rate parking is based on Dr. Shoup's ideas. Electronic parking meters are used so that parking spaces in desirable locations and at desirable times are more expensive than less desirable locations. Other variations include rising rates based on duration of parking. More modern ideas use sensors and networked parking meters which "bid up" (or down) the price of parking automatically with the goal of keeping 85–90% of the spaces in use at any given time to ensure perpetual parking availability. These ideas have been implemented in Redwood City, California
Redwood City, California
Redwood City is a California charter city located on the San Francisco Peninsula in Northern California, approximately 27 miles south of San Francisco, and 24 miles north of San Jose. Redwood City's history spans from its earliest inhabitation by the Ohlone people, to its tradition as a port for...

 and are being implemented in San Francisco and Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

.

Fringe parking


Fringe parking is an area for parking usually located outside the central business district
Central business district
A central business district is the commercial and often geographic heart of a city. In North America this part of a city is commonly referred to as "downtown" or "city center"...

 and most often used by suburban residents who work or shop downtown
Downtown
Downtown is a term primarily used in North America by English speakers to refer to a city's core or central business district ....

.

Parking generation


Parking Generation is a document produced by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) that assembles a vast array of parking demand observations predominately from the United States. It summarizes the amount of parking observed with various land uses at different times of the day/week/month/year including the peak parking demand. While it has been assailed by some planners for lack of data in urban settings, it stands as the single largest accumulation of actual parking demand data related to land use. Anyone can submit parking demand data for inclusion. The report is updated approximately every 5 to 10 years.

In popular culture

  • The song Big Yellow Taxi
    Big Yellow Taxi
    "Big Yellow Taxi" is a song written and originally performed by Joni Mitchell in 1970. It was a big hit in her native Canada as well as Australia and the UK...

    , originally written and performed by Joni Mitchell
    Joni Mitchell
    Joni Mitchell, CC is a Canadian musician, singer songwriter, and painter. Mitchell began singing in small nightclubs in her native Saskatchewan and Western Canada and then busking in the streets and dives of Toronto...

    , includes the line, "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
    Parking lot
    A parking lot , also known as car lot, is a cleared area that is intended for parking vehicles. Usually, the term refers to a dedicated area that has been provided with a durable or semi-durable surface....

    ."
  • The Talking Heads
    Talking Heads
    Talking Heads were an American New Wave and avant-garde band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison...

     song (Nothing But) Flowers
    (Nothing But) Flowers
    " Flowers" is a song by the rock band Talking Heads. It appears on the band's final album Naked, released in 1988. It was also released as a single accompanied by a successful music video, which featured innovative uses of typography by graphic designer Tibor Kalman...

    laments, "Once there were parking lots. Now it's a peaceful oasis
    Oasis
    In geography, an oasis or cienega is an isolated area of vegetation in a desert, typically surrounding a spring or similar water source...

    ."
  • The Monopoly
    Monopoly (game)
    Marvin Gardens, the leading yellow property on the board shown, is actually a misspelling of the original location name, Marven Gardens. The misspelling was said to be introduced by Charles Todd and passed on when his home-made Monopoly board was copied by Charles Darrow and thence to Parker...

     board game
    Board game
    A board game is a game which involves counters or pieces being moved on a pre-marked surface or "board", according to a set of rules. Games may be based on pure strategy, chance or a mixture of the two, and usually have a goal which a player aims to achieve...

     includes a space called Free Parking. Under a common house rule, a player who lands on this space wins a jackpot
    Progressive jackpot
    A progressive jackpot is a jackpot for a gaming machine where the value of the jackpot increases a small amount for every game played...

     consisting of a collection of fines and taxes that have been placed in the center of the board (rather than having been paid to the Banker, as they would under the official rules). Parker Brothers
    Parker Brothers
    Parker Brothers is a toy and game manufacturer and brand. Since 1883, the company has published more than 1,800 games; among their best known products are Monopoly, Cluedo , Sorry, Risk, Trivial Pursuit, Ouija, Aggravation, and Probe...

     released a card game
    Card game
    A card game is any game using playing cards as the primary device with which the game is played, be they traditional or game-specific. Countless card games exist, including families of related games...

     by the same name
    Free Parking
    Free Parking is a Parker Brothers card game inspired by the "Free Parking" space of the Monopoly board game.The game is played by two to four players, and game play focuses around using time on a parking meter to gain points; the first to 200 points wins. Each player has their own parking meter and...

     as a spin-off of this space.
  • A popular parlance for sexual activity in public, derived from the cultural phenomenon of "parking" as depicted in many shows and movies about the 1950s 60s and 70s.
  • In an episode of Seinfeld
    Seinfeld
    Seinfeld is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998, lasting nine seasons, and is now in syndication. It was created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the latter starring as a fictionalized version of himself...

     titled The Parking Space
    The Parking Space
    "The Parking Space" is the thirty-ninth episode of the sitcom Seinfeld. The episode was the 22nd episode of the third season. It aired on April 22, 1992....

    , George Costanza
    George Costanza
    George Louis Costanza is a character in the American television sitcom Seinfeld , played by Jason Alexander. He has variously been described as a "short, stocky, slow-witted, bald man" , "Lord of the Idiots" , and as "the greatest sitcom character of all time"...

     says, "You don't understand. A [parking] garage. I can't even pull in there. It's like going to a prostitute. Why should I pay, when if I apply myself, maybe I could get it for free?"

See also



  • Alternate side parking
    Alternate side parking
    Alternate side parking is a traffic law that dictates on which side of a street cars can be parallel parked on a given day. The law is intended to ensure the most efficient flow of traffic, as well as to allow street sweepers and snowplows to reach the curb without parked cars impeding their progress...

  • Automatic parking
    Automatic parking
    Automatic parking is an autonomous car maneuvering from a traffic lane into a parking place to perform parallel parking, perpendicular or angle parking. The automatic parking aims to enhance the comfort and safety of driving in constrained environments where much attention and experience is...

  • Bicycle parking
    Bicycle parking
    Bicycle parking involves the infrastructure and equipment to enable secure and convenient parking of bicycles...

  • Car condo
    Car condo
    Like a traditional condominium, a car condo is real estate where the owner owns or leases the unit where the car is stored. The common areas of the car condo building are jointly owned by all the tenants and the car condo owner pays a monthly maintenance fee for their use.Many Car Condos are...

  • Decriminalised parking enforcement
    Decriminalised parking enforcement
    Decriminalised parking enforcement is the name given in the United Kingdom to the civil enforcement of car parking regulations, carried out by civil enforcement officers, operating on behalf of either a local authority or a private firm. The Road Traffic Act 1991 Decriminalised parking enforcement...

  • Disc parking
    Disc parking
    Disc parking is a system of allowing time-restricted free parking through display of a parking disc or clock disc showing the time at which the vehicle was parked. A patrolling parking attendant can inspect the disc to check whether payment is owed...

  • Double parking
    Double parking
    -Parking parallel to a car already parked at the curb:"Double parking" can refer to the usually illegal practice of parking a vehicle to the side of a row of vehicles that is already parked next to the curb...

  • Garage parking
  • Lovers' lane
  • Overspill parking
    Overspill parking
    Overspill parking is the parking of vehicles beyond the main area provided for the purpose. It can occur because provided parking spaces are insufficient for demand or considered unsatisfactory for some reason...

  • Parallel parking
    Parallel parking
    thumb|250px|right|Parallel-parked cars in [[Washington, D.C.]]thumb|250px|right|A motorist gets assistance parallel-parkingParallel parking is a method of parking a vehicle in line with other parked cars. Cars parked in parallel are in one line, parallel to the curb, with the front bumper of each...

  • Park and ride
    Park and ride
    Park and ride facilities are car parks with connections to public transport that allow commuters and other people wishing to travel into city centres to leave their vehicles and transfer to a bus, rail system , or carpool for the rest of their trip...

  • Parking lot
    Parking lot
    A parking lot , also known as car lot, is a cleared area that is intended for parking vehicles. Usually, the term refers to a dedicated area that has been provided with a durable or semi-durable surface....

  • Parking meter
    Parking meter
    A parking meter is a device used to collect money in exchange for the right to park a vehicle in a particular place for a limited amount of time. Parking meters can be used by municipalities as a tool for enforcing their integrated on-street parking policy, usually related to their traffic and...

  • Parking space
    Parking space
    A parking space is a location that is designated for parking, either paved or unpaved.Parking spaces can be in a parking garage, in a parking lot or on a city street. It is usually designated by a white-paint-on-tar rectangle indicated by three lines at the top, left and right of the designated area...

  • Parking space reservation in snowstorms
  • Parking violation
    Parking violation
    A parking violation is the act of parking a motor vehicle in a restricted place or for parking in an unauthorized manner. It is against the law virtually everywhere to park a vehicle in the middle of a highway or road; parking on one or both sides of a road, however, is commonly permitted....

  • Predatory towing
  • Residential zoned parking
    Residential zoned parking
    Residential zoned parking is a local government practice of designating certain on-street automobile parking spaces for the exclusive use of nearby residents. It is a tool for addressing overspill parking from neighboring population centers...

  • Shared parking
    Shared parking
    Shared parking , is the practice of making existing parking space available to more than one person. Usually, gaparking uses existing gaps or spaces intended for parking cars when the owner is not using it...

  • Valet parking
    Valet parking
    Valet parking is a parking service offered by some restaurants, stores, and other businesses, particularly in North America. In contrast to "self-parking", where customers find a parking space on their own, customers' vehicles are parked for them by a person called a valet...

  • Parking Guidance and Information Systems
    Parking guidance and information
    Parking guidance and information systems, or car park guidance systems, present drivers with dynamic information on parking within controlled areas. The systems combine traffic monitoring, communication, processing and variable message sign technologies to provide the service...

  • Disabled parking permit
    Disabled parking permit
    A disabled parking permit, also known as a handicapped permit, disabled placard, disabled badge and "Blue Badge" in the European Union, is displayed upon parking a vehicle carrying a person whose mobility would be otherwise significantly impaired by one or more of age, illness, disability or...