Parking Problems in the 1920s

Traffic congestion and parking woes in Nebraska’s capital are nothing new. Lincoln newspapers were receiving letters from frustrated residents as early as the 1920s.

With the rise of the automobile came the need for parking space, an acute problem in large towns and cities in Nebraska as early as the 1920s. Journalist and press historian Henry Allen Brainerd commented on the parking problem in downtown Lincoln in a January 29, 1923 letter to the Lincoln Star. Brainerd bemoaned the congestion on city streets as well as the lack of foresight of the builders of downtown commercial buildings. He reluctantly acknowledged the necessity of a new two-hour limit on downtown Lincoln parking and recommended underground parking garages as a partial solution to the problem.

What a pity that the builders of large business blocks could not have looked ahead at the time of building and seen the need for parking space in the larger cities of the world. Had this been possible and the far-sightedness into the future of these businessmen who have erected mammoth buildings, the problem of parking space would never have reached its now present necessity.

The parking ordinance that has been brought into service in the city of Lincoln is going to work a hardship on every person who rents space in these large buildings. The two-hour limit will require them to run down and move their cars, if for only a few feet, or ‘just around the corner.’ This does not, in the main, look right, and in some respects, the businessmen have a right to kick and kick hard, but what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, and we must all abide by the law for the good of all.

Now if these men who caused to be erected these office buildings could have looked forward to this day, the parking system would have been one of the slightest questions of the day, for each and every building would have parking space enough for each occupant of the building to place their cars in a garage underneath the building, even if they had to encroach a little on the street space, always in their place and off the street, and safe and sound from theft or accident.

While the new system of parking will work a hardship upon thousands of citizens, yet the present congestion on the principal streets is getting to be a most alarming situation, and some steps must be taken to relieve this congestion.

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

State Song Sing-Along

State Song Sing-Along

Robert Ball Anderson’s journey “from slavery to affluence”

Robert Ball Anderson’s journey “from slavery to affluence”

Marker Monday: The Savidge Brothers, Aviation Pioneers

Marker Monday: The Savidge Brothers, Aviation Pioneers

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

History Nebraska Education

Learn more about the educational programs provided at our museums, sites, and online.

History Nebraska Programs

Learn more about the programs associated with History Nebraska.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Listen to our Podcast

Listen to the articles and authors published in the Nebraska History Magazine with our new Nebraska History Podcast!

Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.