“Back-In” Angled Parking: Efficient and Safe
In an effort to increase parking within the city and do so in a safer and more efficient manner, Bethlehem recently converted several parallel parking spaces into angled spots. Bethlehem is yet another city that is implementing this type of approach, as multiple regions across the country have already many “back-in” angle spots near commercial and retail centers. And though many of the shoppers appreciate the increase in parking, some of the local businesses have complained that the parking spots will create traffic problems, which deter people from coming into the area.
One of the biggest positives of this type of approach, besides creating more parking, is increased safety stemming from “back-in” component of the spots. Bethlehem Public Works Director, Michael Alkhal, commented in an Express-Times story that such parking increases visibility, because “you’re already facing the front.” Through the increased visibility, it becomes easier to spot other vehicles, and – more importantly – pedestrians and bicyclists.
The biggest complaint regarding the back-in angled spaces, thus far, has been that of decreased convenience – that is, forcing drivers to back into the spots holds up traffic. However, when the issue boils down over safety versus convenience, I would much rather choose safety, especially if it is safety of commuters who are not driving a vehicle. What are your thoughts on the new parking design in Bethlehem?