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Thread: Back-in parking successes/failures

  1. #1
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    Back-in parking successes/failures

    Just curious if any other municipalities had success stories for back-in parking in downtown areas. Also, what dimensions were used.

  2. #2
    Angle, or straight in?

    Baltimore just started a pilot program not too long ago experimenting with reverse angle parking. I don't know how it's going, though.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Iron Ring's avatar
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    I've heard of the City of New Westminster, BC (near Vancouver) implementing this, but I haven't actually seen it or know how it is operating.

    This link has some info.

    http://www.newwestcity.ca/cityhall/e...le_parking.htm

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    I am very interested in hearing from people who have tried this. For a long time, the traffic engineering community has fought against front-in angled parking, mostly for good reasons. The tide is turning a little as context-oriented and pedestrian concepts get more accepted.

    Back-in angled parking is being proposed in several local cities and I am trying to get the city staffs comfortable with the idea. If you must have angled parking, IMHO it is a huge gain over front-in schemes if the initial WTF moment can be overcome. Right now I am trying to set up a test section so I can hopefuilly make some demos.

    I would say that spaces need to be wider than usual, probably 10' is a good standard. That's one of the things I was hoping to check out. BIAP is a similar movement to parallel parking, a bit less angled, except it can be between two obstacles instead of just one.

    I have had one developer complain that street-level retailers won't like it since "people want to be facing their destination".

    I would also be interested in hearing anything known about "Tandem parallel parking", which I can't seem to find much about on the net. Seems to be taking a standard 22' parallel parking space, marking the actual 18' vehicle space, and using the remaining 4' as a kind of maneuvering area. Right now I am looking at combining each pair of 4' spaces into an 8' maneuvering area (so the line would go 18'-8'-18'-18'-8'-18'-18'-8' etc), so it doesn't take any extra length as long as you start with an even number of spaces.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Back-in parking will not work in states where only rear license plates are used.

  6. #6
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    Marquette Michigan has some streets with Back-in parking. I think it works pretty good.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    Back-in parking will not work in states where only rear license plates are used.
    ??? Trolling for stolen cars or what?
    But it's better for meter maids

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plan 9's avatar
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    Personally I would avoid places with back-in only parking, because I hate backing up my large carbon footprint SUV.
    "Future events such as these will affect you in the future."

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    Would you avoid front-in angled parking as well? Gotta back up from that, and into unknown traffic. BIAP is a bit easier since you are backing into a space you just passed and got to look at.

  10. #10

    Agree with Mike G

    In our city, backing into spaces is prohibited because plates cannot be viewed from the street-side, although OH requires dual plates. We have many visitors from out-of-state. We cannot afford "meter maids", nor do we have meters, so this saves time on our enfocement (police) side. Many (especially elder) drivers are not proficient at backing and it takes more time than pulling straight in. It may take longer to back out, but I think getting vehicles into spaces and INTO stores is more important to make easy as possible versus getting them out. Backing into spaces halts traffic more than backing out, because drivers are more accustomed to seeing vehicles backing out of spaces rather than into spaces.
    That being said, our motorcycle parking spaces are back-in only, as they are angled opposite our vehicular spaces in our downtown.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    Back-in parking will not work in states where only rear license plates are used.
    It's been implemented in Pottstown, PA, and PA is a state with only rear license plates. You could look it up.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    I saw some back-in parking last weekend in DC. It looked strange next to the typical parallel parking layout of that city. I'm not sure how it functions, but I'd guess it would only be good for roads with light traffic since people have to maneuver to get into the spaces.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian southern_yank's avatar
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    Knoxville TN started back-in parking in part of its downtown district. It's weird at first, but people have gotten used to it.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally posted by Greenescapist View post
    I saw some back-in parking last weekend in DC. It looked strange next to the typical parallel parking layout of that city. I'm not sure how it functions, but I'd guess it would only be good for roads with light traffic since people have to maneuver to get into the spaces.
    People have to maneuver to parallel park, too. (Unless the whole curb lane's open, that is).

    I think, all told, reverse angle parking involves a little bit less maneuvering. You just reverse in and stop. Much easier to get it between the lines the first time, rather than shuffling back and forth to get closer to the curb.

    Now, that's presuming the ninny driving the car behind you doesn't stop two feet from your bumper and block you out of the space.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    Howell and Holland Michigan both have some back in angle parking.

    This form of parking has many benifits including the trunk is located at the curb/sidewalk making it easier to load and unload without stepping into traffic and the car doors open towards the curb so when childern open the doors they are directed towards the curb. Additionally, with so many large SUVs it is easier for those in cars to pull out of the parking spot and back into traffic.

  16. #16

    Baltimore RAP, Hampden to be more specific.

    Quote Originally posted by SuperPenguin View post
    Angle, or straight in?

    Baltimore just started a pilot program not too long ago experimenting with reverse angle parking. I don't know how it's going, though.

    All in all it has gone quite well. We have successfully implemented 6 blocks of reverse angle parking to date and plane to add 5 more over the next 12 months. So far we have created 79 new on street parking space. People have adapted quite quickly to the parking changes and it has made a substantial difference in both business and residential parking availability. There have been certain people that are not keen on the change, and as a result there are certain block faces that we were looking to convert to RAP that will remain parallel. The efforts to reconfigure and increase parking In Hampden were neighborhood based (The Hampden Parking Task Force) and not Baltimore City initiated. The Hampden Parking Task Force is a joint effort of the Hampden Community Council, Hampden Village Merchants Association, The Mayors Office and The Baltimore Parking Authority

    You can find more info here http://www.hampdenhappenings.org/Zoning_Info.htm

    George L Peters Jr
    Chairman
    Zoning & Land Use Committee
    Hampden Community Council

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Lawrence, KS. (which has a very nice, vibrant main street) has slanted parking up front and small lots at the back of the shops. Always thought that worked very well a long time before I became interested n urban design.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  18. #18
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    They've been doing it for a few years on N. 2nd St. in Philadelphia (Northern Liberties). When PennDOT was reconfiguring the street (bump outs, new lighting, etc) they were going to stripe the street for parallel parking but the civic association said "no way!" PennDOT said head-in angle parking isn't allowed anymore, too many accidents. So the civic said, "fine, don't worry about it, we'll stripe it ourselves." Back in angle parking it was. PennDot didn't think it was funny but there's nothing on the books that says you can't do it.

    Before the reconfiguration it was a free-for-all - in typical Philadelphia fashion.
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  19. #19
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    I was working on this project of 'back-in angle parking" design and striping for a City in southern California. The City requested the whole 'back-in' parking thing, however the residents didn't and there were more than a hundred complaints submitted to the City. And I ended up have to re-do all the striping with new "head-in angle parking"..

    I've also designed the whole "back-in angle parking" sign for the City and my company tried to get me one of the signs so i can hang it up on the wall of my cubicle just for memorial purposes (since those signs were going to be removed and salvaged anyways). And the last thing i've heard from the City was that they've had several requests for the sign from others so I probably can't have one

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Tobinn's avatar
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    A couple of studies

    I found these studies:
    http://www.saveourlandsaveourtowns.o...toPennDOT1.pdf

    http://www.pspe.org/delco/nawn.pdf

    http://www.contextsensitivesolutions...angle-parking/

    These are just a few. I did a search for "back in angled parking" and was overwhelmed with the amount of information out there. I couldn't find anything negative about back in angled parking - only positives.
    At times like this, you have to ask yourself, "WWJDD?"
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  21. #21
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    Salt Lake City has used it for probably about 5 years now. Once the drivers get used to it, it works out. I think the biggest problems arise during bumper to bumper traffic, when a car pulls past the spot and the car behind pulls right up next to them. It is safer than nose in parking, but the character of the street is critical for it to work.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tobinn View post
    http://www.contextsensitivesolutions...angle-parking/

    These are just a few. I did a search for "back in angled parking" and was overwhelmed with the amount of information out there. I couldn't find anything negative about back in angled parking - only positives.
    i completely forgot about Pottstown, PA. That was probably my first experience with that type of parking. It was awkward. I would've felt much more comfortable parallel parking . . . but like parallel parking i could definitely see how the back-in angle would get much easier with practice.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Great Example

    Back in January I had the pleasure of visiting the Univeristy of Arizona (ok Brocktoon....keep it down....relax.....) A great example of back in parking can be found just West of the campus on Broadway (mall area). Click on the little yellow man in the google image to get a street view of this parking:

    http://maps.google.com/maps/mm?clien...69,-110.958056
    Skilled Adoxographer

  24. #24
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    We had a consultant study our downtown and they recommended that we get rid of our angled parking (45 degree) as they claimed it would free up right-of way to add a dedicated bus lane and reducing traffic conflicts. The road in question is four-lane divided with frequent signals and lot of pedestrian traffic.

    Anyway, our feeling was that the parallel parking would make the situation worse due to the problem of cars spending more time parking, and that parallel spaces would thus take up even more space.

    Slightly O/T, but I'm wondering if anyone has encountered this issue or can validate the view that parallel parking may be worse than angled spaces in certain contexts?

  25. #25
    Cyburbian jkellerfsu's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mobtowngeorge View post
    All in all it has gone quite well. We have successfully implemented 6 blocks of reverse angle parking to date and plane to add 5 more over the next 12 months. So far we have created 79 new on street parking space. People have adapted quite quickly to the parking changes and it has made a substantial difference in both business and residential parking availability.
    We have now encountered a problem! "The Collegetown Bike Route" was designed for a dedicated striped lane through this neighborhood. The striped bike lane won't fit now because it was designed based on parallel parking; we no longer have the street width necessary for a dedicated bike lane. Now we will have to have a signed route through here Guess various agencies weren't talking on this one

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