Matt Yglesias laments the traffic and high cost of “free” parking in Acadia National Park.
Frankly, there is a better way. At some parks your admission fee includes passage on shuttle buses which provide a convenient alternative to driving your own car in the park and having to park it.
At Zion personal cars are prohibited unless you have a reservation to stay at the in-park lodge. At Bryce Canyon cars are discouraged due to parking constraints, and most people choose to take the bus.
The chaos is not part of the fun. These parks have millions of visitors and that many cars adds noise and pollution. Acadia might not be as heavily visited, but the same principles would apply.