Like any other topic in the world, parking also has its curiosities. As a long-standing industry on the verge of a revolution towards online parking, it has a rich history that keeps on evolving as time goes by. Let’s take a look at some of the most fascinating facts about parking from all over the world.
1. The world’s first parking meter
The first ever parking meter in the world, the Park-O-Meter No. 1, was installed in Oklahoma on the 16th of July 1935. Back in the day, parking cost $0,05 per hour – a sum that sounds ridiculous today but at the time was a pretty legit price.
2. The most parking spaces
There are no sure-fire ways to count the exact number of parking spaces in a given country, but it has been estimated that the total number of parking spots in the U.S. could be as many as 2 billion. Around a third of them are in parking lots. The geographical area they cover is huge, and it has been said that parking spaces are the most predominant landscape feature in America. Also, considering the volume, it’s crazy how difficult it still is to find a parking spot!
3. The world’s largest parking complex
The largest parking lot in the world can be found in Edmonton, Canada, at the West Edmonton Mall – also the world’s largest in terms of shopping centers. The parking complex houses a whopping 20 000 cars, with an adjoining lot to hold 10 000 more.
4. The world’s most valuable parking spots
According to a Colliers International survey, the most valuable parking spots in the world are located, perhaps unsurprisingly, in Central London. The public parking spaces around Trafalgar Square and the City can cost up to an average of $1014 monthly. Other close competitors for this title are the West End and, from the other side of the world, Hong Kong.
5. The world’s most expensive permanent parking spots
Probably the most expensive permanent parking spots in the world can be found, also not surprisingly, in New York City. A parking unit (for a single car!) underneath a condo costs one million dollars – making the square foot price higher than that of the above apartments. According to the New York Post, spending $1 million on a parking space is equivalent to parking illegally and getting a $115 fine daily – for 24 years straight.
6. The world’s loneliest parking meter
In the small town of Winters, California, there is a parking meter that, first of all, is the only single meter in the whole city, and second, generates around $100 per year – but not from parking. Dubbed “the lonely parking meter”, it’s used by residents to show their children “how an old-fashioned parking meter works” (a fact that nicely illustrates the absurdity of parking meters), and occasionally by visitors only to figure out that it’s not in use. The sporadic revenues are used for the Independence Day fireworks, and the loner meter has become dearly beloved by the town residents.
7. The most expensive car ever to get a parking fine
The most expensive car ever to be ticketed was a $15 million vintage Ferrari, which was illegally parked during a photoshoot in London in April 2016. Guessing that the owner was probably able to pay that £120 ticket without a problem.
8. The most adorable parking area guard
And finally, there is a parking lot by the Glacier National Park in the U.S., that has probably the most unique guarding arrangement of any parking area. The park authorities have “hired” a border collie to keep away mountain goats that are prone to wander to the parking lot to lick the antifreeze dripping from cars (apparently they like it). It’s safe to say that this is probably the only parking lot in the world with a dog as a security guard. And yes, they call her the “Bark Ranger.”
It’s exciting to see what kind of upheavals, changes and stories the parking industry will generate in the upcoming years!