Reverse-angle parking also called back-in angle is a concept new to the metro, but its an idea proponents say would make parking safer.
Looking at best practices for integrating parking with other functions of the street particularly walkability and also bike lanes front-in angle parking ... is often really dangerous, said Blair Humphreys, a planner and urban designer.
Thats how he came across reverse angle, which is basically the opposite of front-in angle parking.
The trunk of your car is next to the sidewalk, which if youre contemplating mostly retail traffic, then thats a good thing, said Anthony McDermid, chairman of the Automobile Alley board and principal of TAP Architecture. When the doors of the car open, youre protected from the moving traffic. When youre pulling out of a back-in space, you can see oncoming traffic.
WHY NOT HERE?
So this all sounds good, right? Will we see reverse-angle parking here?
We asked for back-in angled parking, and the city said not just No, but Hell, no, McDermid said. Back-in is a new concept. The city has said that because Oklahoma City has never seen it before, it will confuse citizens and it will be hazardous for Oklahomans who have never seen it before.
Stuart Chai, city traffic engineer in the OKC Public Works Department, said no one has ever formally asked the traffic commission to consider reverse-angle parking.
The concept of reverse-angle parking is more a matter of preference, not necessarily (for) safety or efficiency, he said.
For now, the Auto Alley board is going to try for front-in angle parking.
How exactly do drivers maneuver cars into reverse-angled spots? Its easy, but it does take some education.
To reverse angle, a driver stops just past the spot (exactly like parallel parking) and simply backs in. That way, the driver is pulling forward out of the spot when exiting the space.
There is, of course, a wrong way to do it. The worst thing that can happen is if someone pulls across its kind of an open left turn, Humphreys said. When it comes time to back up, youre in bad shape.
But, he said drivers are backing out into traffic with front-in angle, so its not that different of a situation.
REVERSE IN THE FUTURE
Reverse-angle parking may be off the table for now, but McDermid said switching from front-in to back-in is as simple as re-striping the lines.
Humphreys said he thinks reverse angle will catch on if its made part of a comprehensive plan. Its going to take a commitment to doing it; I dont think its something that the city should just dip their toe in with.