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Thread: Diagonal on-street parking

  1. #1
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    Diagonal on-street parking

    Is there a good source for "on-street" diagonal parking standards? There is interest in our community to convert the current four lane with parallel parking arrangement to two lane with diagonal parking. Existing Curb to curb width is 56'.

  2. #2
    This thread might be a good place to start. See especially the post by JimPlans.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

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    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    Sounds like a good idea, you may find some other resources by searching for "road diets".

    For the parking spaces, please consider back-in angled parking or reverse angled parking. See this old thread.

    56' is in a usable range, two 11' lanes plus two 17' depth angled parking spaces. Or consider two 11' lanes, one 17' angled parking, one 8' parallel parking, and two 4.5' bike lanes. There's a few feet slop in these measurements.

    If you don't really need more parking spaces, consider a 3-lane section with 5' bike lanes and parallel parking on both sides. This is more of a typical road diet. Depending on your turning traffic, 4 lanes to 2 lanes can sometimes be a problem, but 4 lanes to 2 lanes plus a turn lane (with median where it's not a turn lane) works well since the turning traffic is removed from the through traffic.

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    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Random Traffic Guy View post
    Sounds like a good idea, you may find some other resources by searching for "road diets".

    For the parking spaces, please consider back-in angled parking or reverse angled parking. See this old thread.
    I know you're a fan of back-in parking, but how often do you actually do it? I work on a college campus which means parking facing out is really, really the safest thing to do since college students are notoriously bad in parking lots (and our parking is first-come, first-served for everybody). I am sometimes forced to back in if I'm running late and can't find a "pull through" near my building, but it's still difficult, even though I have a fairly small, definitely handy vehicle with good sight lines (Subaru Forester), and I know how to use my mirrors. I can't imagine being forced to back in diagonally on a regular basis.

    I'd much rather parallel park, even on the left side of the street, than back into a parking spot. Just my personal opinion.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    I do "fancy park" (link to a site I'm not sure is satire or not) at least half the time when in a public lot, and all the time in my driveway. My midsize SUV has a good turning radius so it's not usually a problem to reverse out, but backing in for 90* spaces is largely habit from when I used to drive a larger pickup.

    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    I'd much rather parallel park, even on the left side of the street, than back into a parking spot. Just my personal opinion.
    Back-in angled parking is just the first half of a parallel parking maneuver so you should be fine . It is easier than backing into 90* parking. While the required precision in positioning for back-in angled is a little higher than the first half of the parallel parking maneuver, it doesn't need the reverse curve and jockeying back and forth of the second half. Back-in spaces are usually also wider than typical parking spaces to give a larger target area.

    For any street with above a nominal auto traffic volume, my preference is for parallel parking to try to keep the street width down. But if you must have angled parking due to parking count issues (real or perceived), back-in should be the default setup.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    The ITE Manual should have standards for angled parking at different angles, and various cities have these dimensions in their transportation standards. I know these are formulated for parking lots, but I think can be easily adapted to streets. It sounds like you are looking at pull-in angled parking. The only reason I've seen for back-in angled parking is for safety, especially when bicycles use the street and/or a bicycle lane is included.

    For a case study to support a change, Fort Collins, CO is great. The streets are particularly wide in the Old Town area (I've heard various explanations, such as that they were designed to allow a cart to turn around, given that the settlers found such wide-open spaces), so most streets around downtown have angled parking. I really believe this has boosted the downtown b/c the additional parking yield (perhaps 60% more parking per block face than parallel parking) has allowed businesses to thrive and greater residential densities to exist without off-street parking - a good example of creating a walkable downtown while accommodating the reality of the car's presence. (That said, it may be high time to consider widening sidewalks and adding more cafe seating along the main drag now that the downtown is such a destination.)

  7. #7
    Cyburbian UrbaneSprawler's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by docwatson View post
    (That said, it may be high time to consider widening sidewalks and adding more cafe seating along the main drag now that the downtown is such a destination.)
    I'm a little confused by this last comment. If this is referring back to Fort Collins, almost all of the sidewalk on College Avenue is attached, (only in some of the outlying areas away from the "main drag" are the sidewalks detached.) There are no sidewalks that can be widened as you're up against the buildings with zero setback. If there's anything that impacts the sidewalks, it is the outdoor eating/sales and street furniture such as bike and newspaper racks (not to imply that these are wrong at all, but they're the main impediment to walking on College Avenue not the sidewalk width.)

    Outdoor eating has exploded along College Avenue. How they use up portions of the sidewalk for their outdoor eating is an interesting subject just on its own. All that said, these "issues" are certainly nice problems to have rather than the alternative of a dead downtown.

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    Cyburbian
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    I'm a little confused by this last comment. If this is referring back to Fort Collins, almost all of the sidewalk on College Avenue is attached, (only in some of the outlying areas away from the "main drag" are the sidewalks detached.) There are no sidewalks that can be widened as you're up against the buildings with zero setback.
    Sorry, to clarify, widening can mean within the ROW, not by setting back historic buildings (a tall order!) In considering how to use the ROW, much of the ROW is dedicated to street (4 lanes) and to angled parking (on both sides plus, actually, in the center angled parking aisle) while sidewalks are around 15' wide. While this seems to me fine in a young downtown, when I look at the volume of people using the downtown, it seems that any future streetscaping project should consider the balance of sidewalk vs. street. Once 5-6' clear is provided for peds, plus the street tree zone, there's just space for a single row of small tables and patio dining is actually pretty scarce along a good stretch of this area.

    That said, I'm no advocate of tearing up streets for the sake of gaining a few feet. A more affordable option might be to explore the seasonal "pop up patios" or parklets that are catching on. Or, better yet, mingle patio dining with the street tree zone (with peds actually walking between the storefront and the patio dining area) to maximize use of the space available.

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    Cyburbian UrbaneSprawler's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by docwatson View post
    Or, better yet, mingle patio dining with the street tree zone (with peds actually walking between the storefront and the patio dining area) to maximize use of the space available.
    I don't believe most folks who like outdoor dining would prefer being separated from the building such that you have to cross the sidewalk. You're that much closer to the parked cars (and if one were to ever consider back-in diagonal parking with the tailpipes directly in front of people eating?) Wait staff bringing food and dealing with table clean up out across the sidewalk would be awkward.

    I don't believe any traditional public works person would feel comfortable with this concept, much less a loss/prevention group in the municipality. The whole interaction of "private" space in between public just seems really awkward to me.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Tarf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by UrbaneSprawler View post
    I don't believe most folks who like outdoor dining would prefer being separated from the building such that you have to cross the sidewalk. You're that much closer to the parked cars (and if one were to ever consider back-in diagonal parking with the tailpipes directly in front of people eating?) Wait staff bringing food and dealing with table clean up out across the sidewalk would be awkward.

    I don't believe any traditional public works person would feel comfortable with this concept, much less a loss/prevention group in the municipality. The whole interaction of "private" space in between public just seems really awkward to me.

    While certainly it depends on context, this actually does work in some cases.

    There have been several stories recently (e.g., Planning mag, Planetizen, etc.) talking about doing just this - and even going further: converting actual parking spaces (i.e., within the ROW) to public benches/seating that can then be used by the adjacent restaurant(s) as seating.
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  11. #11
    Cyburbian UrbaneSprawler's avatar
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    Any in place that can be seen on Google street view? In the meantime I'll look up AASHTO to see if the most recent green book now has information for parking stall to outdoor dining conversion. I guess this is why I'm an engineer and not a planner as the concept of outdoor dining in the street seems nucking futs.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    You're that much closer to the parked cars (and if one were to ever consider back-in diagonal parking with the tailpipes directly in front of people eating?) Wait staff bringing food and dealing with table clean up out across the sidewalk would be awkward.
    I've certainly seen it in a number of places. You're right, it would be awkward if the angled parking is back-in.

    I unfortunately can't say where I've seen it, but it certainly exists. What I like about it is it can increase the capacity of an existing sidewalk, vs. the traditional million-dollar streetscape project. IMHO, I think trends in urban design are increasingly moving to doing more with what we have or with affordable modifications ...

    The prime place I can think of it now is with the "pop up" patios or parklets in San Francisco, New York, and our very own Louisville, Colorado (pop. 18,000), where the downtown businesses have embraced it. Because the pop-up patios are in parking spaces, the waiters do need to cross the sidewalk. I think like many urban designs, its about context and how used to it one is. I have heard many a time, for example, that it's simply impossible for families to bring shopping in from a detached garage, yet thousands of families in my gentrifying neighborhood have figured this one out!

    There is a white paper on these "streetscape patios" by an engineer no less:
    http://ashlandtsp.com/system/datas/9...sWP_011110.pdf

    There are photos of the Louisville ones, which are a trial - I think the San Francisco parklets website has much better examples.

    Of course, one has to draw the line somewhere - I recall somewhere where wait staff had to cross auto traffic to get to tables - maybe it was in Paris? Not something I'd advocate ...
    Last edited by docwatson; 17 Aug 2011 at 6:47 PM.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian UrbaneSprawler's avatar
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    Thanks for the white paper. I especially appreciate reading the revocable permit, as it's great to compare what another municipality nearby is doing on these. I'm sometimes drafting these and how much we require for liability insurance is always a sticky point.

    I didn't think I read anything in the permit regarding signage. Since sign codes (I think) typically pertain to private property, how is signage handled in these cases there in Louisville? What if someone wanted to put a banner either advertising their business on the patio, or products/specials?

    I can appreciate why Louisville is looking to do this seeing the example in the white paper, it looks like you may have 10 feet of sidewalk space from the buildings to the face of curb. Trying to create any meaningful outdoor dining space and still have usable sidewalk space doesn't seem possible. I guess I'm just appreciative that we have generally about 15 feet to work with so that this sort of concept doesn't need to be explored, (at least yet.) I'm also appreciative that with our outdoor dining being on a state highway, CDOT would freak-out even more with outdoor dining in the street than I would. They would just assume have the diagonal parking go away as it is.

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