From Academic Kids

Parking is the act of stopping a vehicle, exiting it, and leaving the vehicle unoccupied for more than a brief time. It is against the law virtually everywhere to park a vehicle in the middle of a highway or road. In all countries where motor vehicles are in common use, specialized parking facilities are routinely constructed in combination with most structures to facilitate the coming and going of the structures' users.

Parking facilities include indoor and outdoor private property belonging to a house, the side of the road, a parking lot or car park, and indoor and outdoor multi-level structures.

In the U.S., after the first public parking garage 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 exemplify regional variations in language. 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.

Missing image
Underground parking garage.
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Top floor of a multi-floor parking deck at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA.
  • Parking ramp (used in some parts of the upper Midwest, especially Minneapolis, but sometimes seen as far east as Buffalo, New York). In Minneapolis, this term never refers to an indoor facility; that would be called a parking garage.
  • Multi-storey car park
  • Parkade (Canada, South Africa)
  • Parking structure (Western U.S.)
  • Parking garage (Eastern USA, where this term does not always distinguish between outdoor above-ground multi-level parking and indoor underground parking; i.e., to a Minneapolitan this term emphatically says indoor parking facility; to a Bostonian it does not.)
  • Parking deck (Eastern USA, an outdoor above-ground multi-level parking facility)
  • Carport (open-air single-level covered parking)

Modes of parking

Regardless of the parking location (parking lot, parking structure, etc.), there are three basic modes of parking, based on the arrangement of vehicles — parallel parking, perpendicular parking, and angle parking.

Besides these basic modes of parking, there are instances where a more ad hoc approach to arranging vehicles is more 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 where the driver leaves the keys to the vehicle with an attendant and the attendant arranges vehicles so as to maximize the number of vehicles that can be parked in the lot. Here, a combination of parallel and perpendicular parking is common.

Parallel parking

Main article: Parallel parking

With parallel parking, cars are arranged in a line, with the front bumper of one car facing the back bumper of an adjacent one. This is often done parallel to a curb, though a curb is not necessary. Parallel parking is the most common mode of streetside parking. It may also be used in parking lots and parking structures, but usually only to supplement parking spaces that use the other modes.

Parallel parking can be a difficult manuever for the beginning driver to master.

Perpendicular parking

With perpendicular parking, cars are parked side to side, perpendicular to an aisle, curb, or wall. This mode of parking is more scalable than parallel parking and is therefore commonly used in parking lots and parking structures.

Often in parking lots using perpedicular parking, two rows of parking spaces may be arranged front to front, with aisles in between.

Angle parking

Angle parking is similar to perpendicular parking, except that cars are arranged at an angle to the aisle (an acute angle with the direction of approach). This is slightly less efficient than perpendicular parking in terms of space utilization, but it makes up for this in being easier and therefore allowing drivers to park more quickly. Where efficient use of space is not the most important consideration, this is very common in parking lots. It may also be used in streetside parking when there is more width available for parking than would be needed for parallel parking, as it creates a larger number of parking spaces.

See also

de:Parkhaus it:Parcheggio


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