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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Will going backwards solve Eagle Rock’s parking problems?


Reverse angled parking in the Midwest.

A group of Eagle Rock citizens and community groups have once undertaken the task of revitalizing Colorado Boulevard. One of the ideas raised at a recent meeting of the Take Back the Boulevard campaign was the introduction of angled parking to increase the number of spaces along the busy street.  But this would not be the typical angled parking you might be familiar from a visit  to Brand Boulevard in Glendale. Instead, this would be what’s called “reverse angled parking” (shown in the video above) in which drivers would back into their space. Why is backing into an angled parking space better than pulling in?

Some transportation planners say reverse angled parking – also called back-in angled parking – is safer since drivers can see traffic – as well as cyclists – as they pull out of the space. Also, it makes it easier to load and unload items from the trunk of a car or the back up of a pick up.  But not everyone is a fan of reverse angle parking, which has appeared in places from Seattle and Portland to New York and Washington, D.C.  In Austin, Texas, drivers and merchants complained when the city introduced reverse parking on certain streets. Officials had to pass out instructional flyers and even hire guides to help drivers pull in and out of the spaces, according to an Austin TV news report.

Photo from Chasqui/Flickr

During the Eagle Rock meeting, the reverse angled parking concept “received positive nods for the benefits of buffering children exiting a vehicle from the road and making it easier to pull out,” according to a report on the Sept. 21 gathering.  But it’s far from certain if reverse angled parking will ever been seen on Colorado Boulevard. The ideas and concepts raised during the Take Back the Boulevard are just that. The group must formulate a formal plan that would eventually have to be supported and funded by the city.

However, just in case the concept is adopted, here are some tips from The Art of Reverse Angle Parking:

  • Put on your right turn signal as your approach the parking space.
  • Don’t make any turns away from or into the spot before reversing,  just continue along your normal path of travel, just outside the parking spaces.
  • Think of like parallel parking – pull past the parking space until the rear tires of your vehicle are even with the end of the parking space and then just turn your wheel to the right while backing up just like parallel parking without the final step.
  • Use your mirrors to see the parking stripes to center yourself in the space.
  • Use the front of your vehicle as a reference for how far to pull back – if you drive a pick up truck or larger vehicle with a lot of overhang, be careful not to pull too far back and block the sidewalk.
  • Practice – it only takes a few times to get the hang of it.


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10 comments

  1. Sounds just like parallel parking – and easier/safer to exit. Good plan!

  2. Uhg, if all we get from TBTB is more car parking I will be disappointed by the initative for being so car centric in its solutions to ‘improve’ the boulevard. Great cars will get more parking and what will pedestrians, transit users, and cyclists get? Curb extensions and that’s it? Meanwhile 90% of the street will still be dedicated to automobiles?

  3. Yeah, angled parking would pretty much wipe out any space for a bike lane. And … I doubt it’s practical on a street that carries as much traffic as Colorado does. I mean, I’d feel nervous stopping and backing into a spot, especially if there would only be two lanes of traffic.

  4. How about getting rid of one whole lane of traffic for a combo parking/bike lane/wider sidewalks? I can’t see a reason for Colorado to be a six lane highway with a gigantic median all the way through little Eagle Rock.

  5. +1 to lisa and eastsidearts… Wider streets may be popular with commuters, but they punish neighborhoods and local businesses with speeding traffic, dangerous crossings and more dramatic choke-points at intersections. Limit the speed and width of the lanes and cars will slow down to 25-30mph, moving traffic smoothly and efficiently, instead of the jerky zero-45mph stop-and-go that makes driving in LA so irritating and dangerous. However, getting LADOT and councilmembers to actually follow through on any of these ideas will be the real challenge.

  6. The city of Santa Clarita tried the exact same scenario about five years ago on a much less busy street – Main Street in Newhall – and it failed horribly. Most folks can barely parallel park (which is ridiculous) and backing up was just more difficult. Colorado Blvd would indeed be a challenge as the speeds are way too fast as it is. I agree that more parking is needed in Eagle Rock.

  7. I agree about wide streets being potentially fast and dangerous. But that doesn’t make angled-parking the solution here. It works on Brand in Glendale partly because there are multiple other North-South streets that traffic can take. With Colorado Blvd, it’d likely push more traffic onto Yosemite, which creates other problems.

    I think it is totally worth dropping Colorado to 2 lanes in both directions (at least as far west as Eagle Rock Blvd) and seeing how it works. It’d slow things down some, and create a more pedestrian- and bike-friendly environment.

  8. Ehhh to this. Bring the streetcars back to LA, put one right down the middle of Eagle Rock Blvd and forget about fussing with parking because people already have enough trouble making a simple right hand turn properly.

  9. I can see it now, biking down Colorado and a car suddenly stops/slows to back up…This does not seem safe from my perspective atop my bicycle.

    “received positive nods for the benefits of buffering children exiting a vehicle from the road and making it easier to pull out” <– Since when were these the big priorities? What about considering cyclists and pedestrians?

  10. ER’s section of Colorado is quite plainly a freeway between Glendale and Pasadena and will never be safe for pedestrians or bicycles until that changes. ER Blvd has the same problem.

    Choke the traffic down like they did in Montrose and provide ample parking and Eagle Rock’s little strip will prosper and be safer for all non-auto traffic.

    Until that happens nothing will change. Trees in the medians, pretty banners, bizarre parking schemes and a suicidal bike lane won’t make a lick of difference.

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