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The need for no parking signs

 
 
Custom Parking Sign
As concessions to the density of traffic, scarcity of land to park on and the status uses of parking, contemporary parking signs are more likely to route cars than they were in days past.
No parking signs rarely tell us what we want to hear, but they're utterly essential tools of public safety. If your child walked to and from school, would you want the side of the road she walked down to be a magnet for cars? How about if people kept parking on the shoulder near your house, obstructing your view of oncoming traffic? Or if drivers insisted on parking in a place that blocked fire truck access in case of emergency? Not only do No Parking signs directly protect the public from dangers they may not even be aware of, by limiting the availability of parking space, over time, they can also result in fewer miles driven as people begin to feel that cycling, walking and public transport are better alternatives.
No Parking sign
A distant cousin of the no parking sign
Naturally, the no parking sign originates with the automobile. (There were and are no grazing signs, but for obvious reasons, horses were rarely quite as much of a safety concern as cars – although their emissions can be unpleasant, when threatened, horses are capable of fairly reliable independent decisionmaking.) In the 1910s and 20s, the majority of parking signs were originally portable and posted in heavy bases to allow for different messages at different hours of the day.

The 1930s saw recognizably modern parking signs in types that haven't changed too terribly much since, although the gigantic increase in demand for parking has resulted in more finely articulated parking plans than would ever have been considered then. Signs like "Employee parking only" that route traffic weren't needed until cars began to outstrip parking spots in America's busier areas. Indeed, until the 1980s, signs were generally embossed rather than printed, which also contributed to the more limited supply of less specific signs, as producers preferred to reuse premade dies rather than making more specific, custom signs
the way manufacturers do today.