Parking is the act of stopping a vehicle and leaving it unoccupied. Parking on one or both sides of a road is often permitted, though sometimes with restrictions. Parking facilities are constructed in combination with some 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, the side of the road where metered or laid out for such use, a parking lot (North 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 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, especially Minneapolis, but sometimes seen as far east as Buffalo, New York). Elsewhere, the term "ramp" would apply to the inclines between floors of a parking garage, but not to the entire structure itself.
- Multi-story car park
- Car park (UK, Ireland, 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 building (New Zealand)
- Carport (open-air single-level covered parking)
- Cycle park (UK, Hong Kong)
- Parkade (Canada)
In addition to basic car parking/parking lots variations of serviced parking types exist. Common serviced parking types are:
Modes of parking 
For most motorised vehicles, there are three basic modes of parking, based on the arrangement of vehicles — parallel parking, 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, 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 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, Portland, Baltimore, and Indianapolis 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:
- 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.
- Longer vehicles project further into the road; this can inconvenience/endanger other road users,
- 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, 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.
Inner city 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 
||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (January 2011)|
||The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010)|
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 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 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, 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 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 "
Some airports charge more for parking cars than for parking aircraft.
Parking control is primarily an issue in relatively densely populated and relatively advanced countries where the demand/supply situation for parking spaces makes parking facilities dear and difficult. In urban locations parking control with corresponding professionals and firms specialising in this is a developing subject. Parking restrictions take the form of: A. Public parking control B. Private parking control Local government as opposed to central government is the primary activator in public parking. The emphasis is on restriction of on-street parking facilities and in fact incomes from parking charges and fines are often major income sources for local government in North America and Europe. Typically, communication about the status of a roadway for parking takes the form of notices, e.g. fixed to a nearby wall and or road markings. Part of the requirements for passing the driving test in some countries is demonstrated ability to understand parking signs. Motorists parking on-street in big cities often have to pay for the time the vehicle is on the spot. There are fines for overstay. The motorist is often required to display a sticker beneath the windscreen indicating that he has paid for the parking space usage for an allocated time period. Private parking control includes both residential and corporate property. Owners of private property use initially signs indicating that parking facilities are restricted to certain categories of people such as the owners themselves and their guests and vehicles belonging to a company’s staff members and its permitted contractors only. Time and experience has shown that simply communicating a parking restriction and a workable deterrent are necessary. The deterrent can take physical forms such as vehicle immobilisation exemplified by the wheel clamp and non-physical forms such as levying parking charges to the registered vehicle owners. The British company Flashpark has innovated a non-physical parking control that involves charging the vehicle owner on behalf of the property owner by utilising the Internet and digital photography. It is probable that this method will spread and become worldwide.
In both public and private grounds physical methods are legion and include: parking bollards, parking poles that swivel from horizontal to vertical, gated entry and exit with time-dependent charges for space utilisation with payment of the same as the condition for exit and electric gates. This is an expanding subject.
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 and are being implemented in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Fringe parking 
Amount of parking 
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, originally written and performed by Joni Mitchell, includes the line, "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."
- The Talking Heads song (Nothing But) Flowers laments, "Once there were parking lots. Now it's a peaceful oasis."
- The Monopoly board game includes a space called Free Parking. Under a common house rule, a player who lands on this space wins a jackpot 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 released a card game by the same name 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 titled The Parking Space, George Costanza 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 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Parking|
- UK Department of Transport Cycle Infrastructure Design
- Graph based on data from Vukan R. Vuchic, Transportation for Livable Cities, p. 76. 1999. ISBN 0-88285-161-6
- Vega, Cecilia (2006-02-07). "Supes to consider limit on parking spaces at new buildings". San Francisco Chronicle. pp. B – 2. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- "Snow chairs". Boston Online. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- Finer, Jonathan (2005-01-01). "Boston Fights Winter Parking Tradition". Washington Post. pp. A02. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- Woolhouse, Megan (2009-06-10). "Back Bay parking space sells for record $300,000". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
- "IPI". International Parking Institute.
- "Letters: Cheaper to park a plane than a car at airport". The Age (Melbourne). 2012-04-21.
- The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald C. Shoup
- "Redwood City Redevelopment | Downtown Parking". Ci.redwood-city.ca.us. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
- "SFpark". SFpark. 2012-12-17. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
- "LADOT ParkingInfo". Expresspark.lacity.org. Retrieved 2013-01-12.