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Back-In Angle Parking

Back-in angle parking may be something new to the Fox Cities, but it can be found communities across the country. As part of a project to review the existing parking conditions at a location on North Water Street, it became evident that the benefits of back-in angle parking just might be what’s needed to address the problems that have plagued parking there for years. Check out the information below on how to back-in angle park and why the City is trying it out:

What is back-in angle parking?

Unlike the more common front-in angle parking, instead of pulling forward into a stall first and then backing, back-in angle parking has the stall lines flipped so you back into a stall first and pull forward when leaving.  Here’s a graphic as to how back-in angle parking works:

Back-In Angle Parking

Why even consider back-in angle parking?

  • Unlike front-in angle parking, the backing maneuver takes place into an empty stall, not into live traffic.
  • There’s no backing blind into traffic. Back-in angle provides better eye-to-eye contact between drivers, bicyclists, and other road users, especially if the parked vehicle is next to a larger parked vehicle.
  • Trunks and tailgates are safely accessible at the sidewalk.
  • Children are better protected, because the open car door directs them away from traffic and towards the sidewalk.
  • Studies have shown consistently that back-in angle parking reduces the likelihood of crashes. (Tucson, AZ; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; Pottstown, PA)
  • Back-in angle parking isn’t new: it has been successfully implemented in many communities across all parts of the US.  Just to name a few: Arlington, VA; Baltimore, MD; Birmingham, AL; Des Moines, IA; Honolulu, HI; Indianapolis, IN; Knoxville, TN; Marquette, MI; Missoula, MT; Montreal, QC (Canada); Olympia, WA; Peoria, IL; Salt Lake City, UT; and Wilmington, DE.
  • Back-in angle parking has additional advantages over parallel parking. It is simpler to maneuver and offers more capacity.

Where is the city implementing back-in angle parking?

The city has been testing back-in angle parking on West North Water Street adjacent to the YMCA and St. Paul’s Church.  The adjustments were implemented on July 22, 2016.

Why is North Water Street considered a good candidate for back-in angle parking?

  • There will be a loading zone that will be opposite to the parking area.  Back-in angle parking removes the risk of drivers backing too far into the loading zone.
  • West North Water Street is one-way, removing the risk of improper driver behavior associated with back-in angle parking on two-way streets.
  • The back-in angle parking is only being tested on a one-block section.  Other parking options will be available close by.
  • The parking stalls will be wider than the existing stalls, allowing for more room for drivers to back into and for individuals to access side doors.
  • Stalls will be marked at a 45º angle, making it easier to back into over steeper-angled stalls.
  • Since the users will primarily be YMCA and St. Paul’s patrons, better outreach can be achieved than if it were adjacent to a retail area.

Want to learn more about back-in angle parking at the Y?

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