After World War I, literally every American city came to regulate curbside parking at their centers, and in the process, downtown streets became fully defined as arteries for traffic flow. Curbside parking, when not eliminated as a traffic hindrance, was carefully rationed, with turnover of parking space calculated to increase the number of motorists served. But just before, and then just after, World War II, the argument developed that municipalities needed to do much more. They needed to enter the parking business, not so much to supply parking per se, but to supply parking where it was truly needed. Appropriately located close to stores, rather than at a distance, municipal parking would re-energize retailing and thus be fully supportive of central business district stability, if not growth.
John A. Jakle and Keith A. Sculle, Lots of Parking: Land Use in a Car Culture (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2004) 74.