The first mentions about a demand for parking spaces appeared in 1886, shortly after Karl Benz constructed his first vehicle. It was the growing interest in vehicles which brought about the emergence of parking lots in cities. Depending on their architectural forms, there exist off-road car parks and those located inside buildings. Car parks, both above and underground, are meant to accommodate vehicles of a variety of types.
Where can you find the largest car park in the world, or how much was the most expensive parking space ever? Is it possible to reverse-park in a space which is only several centimeters longer than the car itself? Just check it out!
1. The first semi-automatic parking lot named Garage Rue de Ponthieu was built in Paris in 1905. It had a purpose-built elevator which lifted cars even several floors up, to be then parked by valeting service. This innovative solution is used even in modern times: e.g. in Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen headquarters in Germany.
2. The first ever parking meter was officially named “Park-O-Meter No. 1”, and was put in Oklahoma on 16 June 1935. The machine charged a fee of five cents per hour.
3. The biggest contemporary car park of a capacity going beyond 20,000 parking spaces is located in the West Edmonton Mall in Canada. The car park’s size is noted in the Guinness Book of Records. And the car park itself is surrounded by 10,000 more parking places in its vicinity.
4. One of the largest Polish underground car parks is located in the Arkadia shopping center in Warsaw. Its two levels have a joint capacity of 4,500 vehicles.
5. In Poland, the minimum official parking space is 2.3 by 5 meters. Every car park must provide places for disabled people’s cars. Such places are bigger: by regulations they are to be 3.6 by x 5 meters.
6. The most expensive parking space ever is located in Hong Kong. It was once traded for 664,260 dollars. A couple that sold it, had bought it one year earlier for 430,000 dollars. So in nine months they earned 330,000 dollars on that parking space.
7. In 2008 Terry Grant from the UK managed to park a Renault Twingo backwards in a space which was only 15 cm longer than the car itself (3.6 m) without relying on parking proximity sensors.
8. Most automated car parks are located in Japan. To compare, Asian car parks can accommodate approximately 100,000 vehicles, while in Europe there are 40,000 car parking spaces built every year.