AskDefine | Define parking

Dictionary Definition



1 space in which vehicles can be parked; "there is plenty of parking behind the store"
2 the act of maneuvering a vehicle into a location where it can be left temporarily

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. Of, relating to or used in parking.
    He put a quarter into the parking meter.


parking (uncountable)
  1. The action of the verb to park.
    Parking in central London can be very difficult.
  2. Space in which to park a car or other vehicle.
    It can be difficult to find parking in central London.




  1. present participle of park



From park


  • /paʀ.kiŋ/


fr-noun m

Extensive Definition

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 2006 a single parking space sold for $250,000.
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.
Donald C. Shoup in 2005 argued in his The High Cost of Free Parking against the large consumption of land and other resources in urban and suburban areas for motor vehicle parking.

Amount of parking

Parking generation

Parking Generation refers to 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.

Parking quotes

  • "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot" Joni Mitchell from "Crowind Now Way of Life in California," Los Angeles Times, June 10, 2001. B-1
  • "Parking is like sex. Why should I pay for it? If I apply myself a little, I can have it for free!" George Costanza in Seinfeld.

See also


parking in Czech: Parkoviště
parking in German: Parken
parking in Spanish: Estacionamiento
parking in French: Stationnement
parking in Indonesian: Parkir
parking in Italian: Parcheggio
parking in Japanese: 駐車
parking in Norwegian: Parkering
parking in Portuguese: Estacionamento
parking in Simple English: Parking
parking in Finnish: Pysäköiminen
parking in Swedish: Parkeringshus
parking in Chinese: 泊車
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