National Parking Day

Young couple happily holding hands in a vibrant city street scene with colorful cars parked neatly on the side..
National parking day illustration

Welcome to the wacky world of National Parking Day! Prepare yourself for a wild ride as we dive into the fascinating history of this unique celebration of all things parking.

When is Parking Day?

It's national parking day on the 19th September.

The Origin Story

Have you ever found yourself circling the block over and over, desperately searching for a parking spot? Well, you're not alone! National Parking Day was established to honor the struggle we all face in the never-ending quest for the perfect parking spot.

The origins of this day can be traced back to a brave soul named Martin Meterman. Martin, an avid driver with a passion for precision parking, felt the need to raise awareness about the challenges faced by motorists worldwide. He rallied his fellow parking enthusiasts and together they decided to create a day dedicated to the art and science of parking.

A Day of Celebration

On National Parking Day, people from all walks of life come together to celebrate the joy of finding a pristine parking spot. From skilled parallel parkers to those who prefer the pull-through method, everyone is encouraged to take part in the festivities.

Activities range from parking competitions to educational workshops on the latest parking techniques. You might even stumble upon a flash mob posing as traffic cones, enacting mind-boggling parking maneuvers in the middle of the street!

With the rise of social media, National Parking Day has become a global phenomenon. People capture and share their epic parking victories and hilarious parking fails, creating a community bonded by the love of all things parking.

Did You Know?

Did you know that the largest parking lot in the world can be found in Walt Disney World, Florida? Spanning a whopping 125 acres, this parking lot can accommodate over 11,000 vehicles! Talk about a parking extravaganza!

History behind the term 'Parking'


The Birth of Automobiles

With the invention and popularization of automobiles in the early 20th century, the need for designated spaces to park these vehicles became apparent. As more and more people began driving their cars, cities started to face the challenge of finding suitable areas for parking.


The Birth of the Automobile

The term 'parking' can be traced back to the birth of the automobile in the late 19th century. As cars began to populate the streets, a need arose for designated spaces where they could be stored when not in use. This led to the concept of 'automobile parks,' which were areas set aside specifically for parking vehicles. These early parking areas were usually open lots or garages with attendants to assist with parking.


The First Parking Lots

In 1910, the first known parking lot was established. It was located in Cleveland, Ohio, and was managed by the Hertz Corporation. This marked the beginning of organized parking spaces for cars. The lot charged a fee, allowing car owners to park their vehicles securely while they attended events or visited nearby establishments.


The Introduction of Parking Meters

In 1901, the term 'parking' gained a new meaning with the introduction of parking meters. The first parking meter, known as the 'Black Maria,' was installed in Oklahoma City, USA. These meters allowed drivers to park their cars for a limited amount of time by inserting coins into the meter. This marked a significant shift in parking practices, as now parking was not only a location but also a time-based activity with associated fees.


Parking Meters Arrive

In 1928, the first parking meter, known as the 'Park-O-Meter,' was installed in Oklahoma City. These coin-operated devices were designed to regulate parking time and collect fees. Initially, the cost was five cents per hour. The success of parking meters led to their widespread adoption in other cities, helping to manage parking congestion in urban areas.


Garages and Parking Lots

By 1915, the term 'parking' was commonly associated with dedicated spaces such as garages and parking lots. As cities became more congested with automobiles, the need for larger parking facilities grew. Multi-story parking garages began to appear, offering multiple levels for parking vehicles. Additionally, entrepreneurs started converting vacant lots into parking spaces, providing a convenient solution for drivers in urban areas.


Parking Space Markings

The 1950s saw the implementation of parking space markings, which brought order and organization to parking areas. The use of paint or other materials to demarcate parking spots made it easier for drivers to navigate parking lots and streets. This development significantly improved parking efficiency and reduced collisions and disputes over parking spaces.


Multi-Level Parking Garages

In 1951, the world's first multi-level parking garage was built in Chicago, Illinois. This innovative structure featured multiple levels of parking spaces accessible via ramps. With the rise of urbanization and limited available land for parking, multi-level garages became a practical solution for accommodating a larger number of vehicles in densely populated areas.


Digital Parking Systems

The advent of digital technology in the 1990s revolutionized parking systems. Automated ticketing machines and electronic payment methods made parking more convenient for drivers. Digital displays, such as LED signs, were also introduced to indicate the availability of parking spaces in real-time. These advancements not only improved the user experience but also allowed parking operators to manage and optimize their parking inventory more efficiently.


The Introduction of Automated Parking Systems

Automated parking systems began to emerge in 1974, with the opening of the first fully automated parking garage in Washington D.C. These systems utilized computer technology to efficiently park and retrieve vehicles without the need for human intervention. By optimizing space utilization and reducing the time needed to park, automated systems provided a more seamless parking experience.


Technological Advancements and Mobile Parking Apps

With the advent of the internet and mobile technology in the 1990s, parking became even more convenient. Various mobile apps were developed to help drivers find available parking spaces, reserve spots in advance, and even make payments without the need for physical tickets or coins. These technological advancements greatly improved the overall parking experience for motorists.

Present Day

Smart Parking Solutions

In the present day, 'smart parking' has become a buzzword in urban planning and transportation. Smart parking systems use sensors, cameras, and data analytics to monitor parking space availability, direct drivers to vacant spots, and streamline parking operations. These intelligent solutions not only improve parking efficiency but also contribute to reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions in urban areas.

Did you know?

Did you know that the largest parking lot in the world can be found in Walt Disney World, Florida? Spanning a whopping 125 acres, this parking lot can accommodate over 11,000 vehicles! Talk about a parking extravaganza!


awareness fun property

First identified

19th September 2015

Most mentioned on

19th September 2015

Total mentions


Other days


One Day


Seniors Day

insurance awareness

Insurance Awareness Day


Happiness Day


Opposite Day


Veterans Day


Action Day

suicide prevention month

Suicide Prevention Month Day


Honesty Day


Census Day