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Encyclopedia > Parking meter
A traditional style parking meter
A traditional style parking meter

A parking meter is a device used to collect money in exchange for the right to park a vehicle in a particular place for a limited amount of time. Parking meters can be used by municipalities as a tool for enforcing their integrated on-street parking policy, usually related to their traffic and mobility management policies. Download high resolution version (345x606, 33 KB)med picture of parking meter I took and placed in the public domain This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Download high resolution version (345x606, 33 KB)med picture of parking meter I took and placed in the public domain This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... The Trikke is a Human Powered Vehicle (HPV) Automobiles are among the most commonly used engine powered vehicles. ... A municipality is an administrative entity composed of a clearly defined territory and its population and commonly referring to a city, town, or village, or a small grouping of them. ...



A more modern Parking Meter with a digital display
A more modern Parking Meter with a digital display

The parking meter was invented in 1935 by Carl C. Magee [1] in Oklahoma City, OK. The world's first installed parking meter was in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on July 16, 1935.[2] [3] Industrial production started in 1936 and expanded until the mid '80s. The first models were based on a coin acceptor, a dial to engage the mechanism and a visible pointer and flag to indicate expiration of paid period. This configuration lasted for more than 40 years, with only a few changes in the exterior design, like the double-headed version and the incorporation of new materials and production techniques. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2592 × 1944 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2592 × 1944 pixel, file size: 2. ... Nickname: Location in Oklahoma County and the state of Oklahoma. ... is the 197th day of the year (198th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar). ...

The first parking meter in the UK was installed on the 10th June, 1958 in Grosvenor Square, London by Parkeon. In 1960, New York City hired its first crew of "meter maids", all were women. It was not until 1967 that the first man was hired.[4] The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a country in western Europe, and member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the G8, the European Union, and NATO. Usually known simply as the United Kingdom, the UK, or (inaccurately) as Great Britain or Britain, the UK has four constituent... The north side of Grosvenor Square in the 18th or early 19th century. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... A meter maid is a female member of a police traffic control department who issues tickets for parking violations. ...

In the mid '80s, a digital version was introduced, replacing the mechanical parts with electronic components: boards, keyboards and displays. This allowed more flexibility to the meter, as an EEPROM chip can be reconfigured more easily than corresponding mechanical components. EEPROM (also written E2PROM and pronounced e-e-prom or simply e-squared), which stands for Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory, is a type of non-volatile memory used in computers and other electronic devices to store small amounts of data that must be saved when power is removed...

By the beginning of the '90s, millions of parking meter units had been sold around the world, but the market was already looking into new solutions, like the collective pay and display machines and new forms of payment that appeared along with electronic money and communication technologies. As a result, the parking meter industry has entered a period of decline and is now limited to a very narrow market.[citation needed] This article is about the machine. ... A payment is the act of transfering wealth into another person or company. ... Electronic money (also known as electronic cash, electronic currency, digital money, digital cash or digital currency) refers to money or scrip which is exchanged only electronically. ...

Security issues

Parking meters are exposed to the elements and to vandals so protection of the device and its cash contents is a priority. For other uses, see Weather (disambiguation). ... Vandalism is the conspicuous defacement or destruction of a structure, a symbol or anything else that goes against the will of the owner/governing body. ... For other uses, see Cash (disambiguation). ...

Some cities have learned the hard way that these machines must be upgraded regularly to keep up with the creativity of vandals. In Berkeley, California, the cut-off remains of meter poles were a common sight during the late 1990s, and parking was largely free (and chaotic) throughout the city until the government installed digital parking meters with heavier poles in 2000.[citation needed] Berkeley is a city on the east shore of San Francisco Bay in Northern California, in the United States. ...


By inserting coins into a currency detector slot or swiping a credit card or smartcard into a slot, and turning a handle (or pressing a key), a timer is set within the meter. Some locations allow payment by mobile phone (to remotely record payments for subsequent checking and enforcement). A dial or display on the meter indicates the time remaining. This article is about monetary coins. ... A currency detector is a device that determines if a piece of currency is, or is not, counterfeit. ... This article is about the payment system. ... A smart card, or integrated circuit(s) card (ICC), is defined as any integrated circuitry embedded into a flat, plastic body. ...

In many cities, all parking meters are designed to use only one type of coin. Use of other coins will fail to register, and the meter may cease to function altogether. For example, in Hackensack, New Jersey all parking meters are designed for quarters only. Joe Mallone is a douchebag For other places with this name, see Hackensack. ... The quarter is 1/4th of a United States dollar or 25 cents. ...

Some newer parking meters have a sensor that can determine when a parking space has been vacated. Once this happens, any remaining time on the meter resets to zero, forcing the next driver to pay the full price for parking.[citation needed] This feature can also be used to enforce maximum parking times by requiring that the parking space be vacated before allowing any additional time to be purchased. This makes it more difficult for the driver to simply return and purchase additional time, or for a "good samaritan" to pay for more parking on the driver's behalf (sometimes called "feeding the meter").


In the American states of Virginia and Massachusetts, individuals with disabled parking privileges do not need to pay parking meters. In some other states handicapped parking meters exist, but must be paid at the same rate as regular meters. Even after having sufficiently paid for parking, one will still be subject to receiving a violation ticket if a valid handicap license plate or placard is not displayed on the vehicle. Image File history File links Gnome-globe. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...

Alternatives to parking meters are pay and display machines (for dashboard display of proof of payment until a certain hour) and machines to accept and electronically record payment by stall number, (known in New York City as the Muni Meter). An experimental program in Houston, Texas was introduced in response to a revised city ordinance for Saturday-enforced metered parking. This article is about the machine. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... Muni Meter is the name used by the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) for its pay and display centralized parking meter system. ... Houston redirects here. ...

In the UK and Europe pay and display is very popular. It is now possible to park and pay by mobile phone. You call a number, tell the operator where you are and how long you want to park and pay by credit/debit card. The Civil Enforcement Officers that patrol the parking area's know if you have paid in this way as it comes up on their hand held devices.

Modern advances

More modern parking meters are generically called multispace meters (as opposed to single space meters) and control multiple spaces per block (typically 8-12) or lot (unlimited). Whilst with these meters the parker may have to walk several car lengths to the meter, there are significant benefits in terms of customer service, performance and efficiency. Multispace meters incorporate more customer-friendly features such as on-screen instructions and acceptance of credit cards for payment -- no longer do drivers have to have pockets full of coins or risk a parking ticket. They also have many performance benefits that keep them performing better. While they still may be prone to coin jams and other types of vandalism, most of these meters are wireless and can report problems immediately to maintenance staff, who can then fix the meters so that they are not out of service for very long.

There are generally two types of multispace meters: pay and display and pay by space. With pay and display meters the driver parks, goes to the meter to pay, but must walk back to their vehicle and place a receipt on their dashboard to prove that they have paid. With pay by space meters, the driver parks in a space, goes to the meter and enters their space number and payment, but does not have to walk back to their vehicle as there is no receipt -- the meter remembers which spaces are paid and unpaid.

Generally the pay and display meters are more expensive to buy and operate because they have a printer, consume paper, and draw more power to operate. Pay by space meters are less expensive to purchase and operate, as they have no moving parts or paper consumables, but cities do have to mark each space with a space number.

Pay by space meters require less resources for cities to enforce, as parking enforcement staff do not have to look in every car window for a valid receipt. This can be a significant consideration for cities when they evaluate the two types of multi-space meters.

Other advances with parking meters include vehicle detection technology, which allows the pay by space meters to know when there is a car parked in a space. This opens the door for benefits for both motorists and parking managers, including providing way-finding (directing drivers to unoccupied spaces via the web or via street signs), enabling remote violation detection, and gathering vital statistics about parking supply and demand.

Another alternative to the traditional parking meter is the use of personal parking meters (in-car meters), small mobile devices that are purchased by the motorist, with a pre-paid parking bank used by the motorist to pay for on-street parking fees. Another technology offers the possibility of reloading money (parking time) to the device via a secure Internet site.

New York City retired its last spring-loaded, single-space, mechanical parking meter at 10:25 a.m. on December 20, 2006. It was located at the southwest corner of West 10th Street and Surf Avenue in Coney Island. “The world changes. Just as the token went, now the manual meter has gone,” said Iris Weinshall, the city’s transportation commissioner, at a small ceremony marking the occasion, the New York Times reported. The new digital meters, which now account for all of the city's 62,000 single-space parking meters, are more accurate and more difficult to break into.


  • In the introductory scene of the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, Lucas "Luke" Jackson, played by Paul Newman, is sent to a prison camp for cutting the heads off parking meters while drunk.

Cool Hand Luke is a 1967 American film starring Paul Newman and directed by Stuart Rosenberg. ... This article is about the American actor and race team owner. ...

See also

Coupons used for parking in Singapore. ... Vehicle clamping Vehicle removal Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) is the name given in the United Kingdom to the civil enforcement of car parking regulations. ... This article is about the machine. ... Parking Guidance and Information variable-message sign Parking Guidance and Information (PGI) systems, or Car Park Guidance Systems, present drivers with dynamic information on parking within controlled areas. ... A parking attendant vehicle in San Francisco A parking attendant is a member of a traffic control deparment or organization who issues tickets for parking violations. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


  1. ^ Chan, Sewell. "New York Retires Last Mechanical Parking Meter." The New York Times. December 20, 2006.
  2. ^ Inglewood Website - News Details
  3. ^ http://www.pom.com/ Park-O-Meter
  4. ^ Dougherty, Conor. "The Parking Fix", The Wall Street Journal, February 3, 2007. 

The New York Times is a daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed internationally. ... is the 34th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Parking meters
  • U.S. Patent 2,118,318  - Coin controlled parking meter
  • The Parking Meter Page
  • Articles from the Wausau Daily Herald
  • Metergate from the SF Times (archived)
  • Brink's 1978 parking meter theft
  • Saskatoon, SK - the first Canadian City to offer cell phone parking payment option for its parking meters October 21, 2005
  • Parking meter payment by cell phone from Slashdot, June 26, 2006
  • Voice Of America Video
  • New Parking Meter, calls you when time is up - with Pictures

  Results from FactBites:
Parking meter fixer had hand in till, police say - The Boston Globe (1064 words)
Every workday for the past seven years, Paul R. Arsenault made his rounds of Boston's 7,200 parking meters in a fresh blue uniform, carrying with him a special key and the responsibility for fixing his share of the hundreds of meters across the city that are jammed or broken.
Employees who collect quarters from meters have a key to the lower portion of the meter head, which unlocks a compartment that holds a sealed green plastic canister.
To do that, he was to open the meters, remove any objects blocking the chutes, report what he'd found to the department, and put the stray quarters back in.
Parking Meters by POM (794 words)
Since the first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City on July 16, 1935, POM parking meters have been made in the USA and installed all over the globe.
These early parking meters were produced at factories in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma, until late 1963 when Rockwell moved the business to the present POM factory in late 1963 and early 1964.
We are producing parking meters using coins of many nations, with legends in various languages as required for foreign countries.
  More results at FactBites »



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