Dear Parking Meters, North Dakota Doesn’t Miss You. P.S. Happy Birthday!
June 8th was the 81st birthday for the parking meter. Guess who's not invited to that party and happy about their non-invite? North Dakota!
Even though Carl Magee invented the first parking meter on July 16, 1935, they did not go into industrial production until June 8, 1936. If you've ever lived in a state with a parking meter, then chances are you haven't lived in North Dakota your whole life, unless you're over the age of 69.
In 1948, almost 70 years ago, parking meters were banned in North Dakota, and the state continues to be only one in the U.S. without them. As recent as April, the House voted against legislation that would have potentially brought parking meters into some North Dakota communities.
Let's be honest, if you've ever lived in a different state, then you know that parking meters are annoying. You already found a great parking spot, but wait, there's a machine that requires you to pay for your parking, and for the duration of time to park there. Nobody wants to pay for parking. You know how awesome it is to land on "Free Parking" in Monopoly? That's how awesome it is to park for free anywhere in North Dakota.
The idea of not having parking meters in North Dakota is like your own personal win for the day. It leaves a good taste in your mouth. There's a little more bounce in your step when you know you don't have to pay for parking after acquiring a great space. It almost makes you want to drive to another state where there are parking meters on the street and yell out, "Nice parking meters, losers!" But then again, there's that whole 'North Dakota Nice' thing where we don't do that because we're just not that cruel.
In any event, it's nice to know that we don't have to deal with parking meters. We could all use one less thing in our lives to deal with before we get where we're going. As the birthday of the industrial production of parking meters passes, we can kindly leave a short letter that states:
Dear Parking Meters,
North Dakota doesn't miss you.
Everyone in North Dakota
P.S. Happy Birthday!