Carl C. Magee of Oklahoma City, OK is credited with inventing the parking meter in May of 1935. Mr. Magee was with the traffic committee of the Oklahoma City “Chamber of Commerce”. It was his job to find a solution to downtown parking problems. Th e parking meter solved the problem of cars parked all day on the streets, but it also brought revenue to the city. Additionally, it assured parking turn-over so there would always be parking spaces for customers.
Donald Duncan, famous for the Duncan YoYo, was the owner of a toy company. He redesigned the parking meter to the fashion we see today. He began his parking meter business in 1937. His meters are used in over 50 countries, and the company remains a leader in the parking control industry.
There has been a 35-year parking coma during which the federal government, cities, and environmentalists forgot the importance of parking. Parking is a significant influence on how cities work and what form of travel they decide on. Th e main underlying idea is manage the supply of parking and you will reduce the demand for driving!
Today’s parking meters are more like small computers; they even take credit cards! With an estimated 105,000,000 parking spaces in the United States alone, it’s easy to see why the parking meter is an invention that will be around for a very long time.
Some parking facts:
- Th e average automobile sits parked 95% of the time.
- Although business owners believe they benefit from free parking, curbside parking meters increase parking turnover so there are always new spaces, and new customers.
- At free parking spaces, 40-60 percent of vehicles overstay the posted time limits.