Yesterday, July 16, 1935, was the year that Oklahoma City installed the first parking meter. Invented by Carl C. Magee, the mechanical meter would become ubiquitous on our nation’s streets.
Why? Because it did what it was supposed to do. It stopped over parking. They installed the first series of meters on one side of the street as a test, and within days, the merchants on the other side were demanding that they be installed on their side. They immediately saw the benefits of turnover, and convenience for their patrons.
Today the critters are solid state, take credit cards, and talk to central over a complex cell phone network. Some cover more than one space, and offer myriad of features. But they still provide the same service that Magee provided nearly eight decades ago.
Funny, those folks in Oak city could quickly see how charging for parking would help their businesses, but today many merchants whine and complain about parking charges, blaming it for everything from poor business to original sin.
Necessity is the mother of invention. When parking became a problem, a bright mind found a solution. Revenue was and still is collected, and the problem of not enough parking was solved.