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When ‘parking’ meant planting street trees



July 17, 2015

Positively no trees, Leesport PAHow’s this for irony. Did you know that the word ‘parking’ used to mean the planting of street trees? That is, making a ‘park’ on the side of the road? If you’ve ever wondered why leaving your car in the street is so inappropriately called ‘parking’, it didn’t start out that way.

On Deepoot.com there’s fascinating essay about the origin of the term ‘parking’ and the convention of stopping and then leaving one’s vehicle (or carriage) on the side of the road.

Washington DC in 1870 was the first place in the USA that ‘parking’ is mentioned in city planning, and it’s all about allocating 50% of the street’s width for the creation of “parks for trees and walks”. Some 70,000 trees were ‘parked’ along Washington’s wide roads as a result.

To read how that parking transformed into the long rows of cars we see today (and the commensurate reduction in street trees), read the full story at DeepRoot.

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