Frequently asked Questions (Written August 2008)
Q: Why reverse angle parking (RAP)?
- Parallel parking is not sufficiently meeting our parking demand.
- The community has a parking shortage. We are short more than 900 spaces when comparing on-street parking. Fells Prospect has a lot of so called "alley homes" that do not have on-street parking, their own garages, or parking pads.
- Reverse angle parking has put a dent into our parking deficit.
Q: Why reverse angle parking instead of head-in angle parking?
- Safer due to better visibility for the driver when the car pulls out of the parking space, even when parked next to large vehicles or vehicles with tinted windows.
o Eye-to-eye line of sight between parker and approaching road-use, reducing accidents involving oncoming motorists or bicyclists.
- Allows for quicker entry into traffic flow
- Simpler than a parallel parking maneuver
- Trunks/tailgates can be unloaded at the curb (safer).
- Safer unloading of children and pets because the open vehicle door guides them towards safety zone of the sidewalk.
- Safer on inclines because it forces drivers to curb their tires
- Safer for disabled parking, since disabled parking stalls are close to the existing curb ramps, and allows the wheelchair-using drivers to unload out of the way of traffic.
- Vehicle headlights do not shine into homes.
Q: How do you reverse angle park?
- Signal when slowing to approach the space
Q: Is backing into the stalls difficult?
- • The backing maneuver may be unfamiliar, but certainly is much easier than parallel parking, a common task on city streets.
Q: Will headlights shine into homes across the street?
- One side of the street always retains parallel parking, so those vehicles will block the headlights from reverse angle parking cars from entering the homes across the street.
Q: Isn’t it harder and take more time to reverse angle park?
- It takes longer for most people to parallel park than to reverse angle park.
- Reverse angle parking has fewer steps than parallel parking
Q: Wouldn't it be easier to just to pull forward into an angled spot? Doesn't this convenience make it the best parking method?
- It boils down to safety and when you want to have your convenience. With standard angle parking, it's simple to pull in but can be difficult to pull out. You may have to back your car entirely out into the traffic lane before you can even see the oncoming traffic (not very safe.) With back-in angle parking, getting into the stall is more difficult than going front-in but exiting the stall is more convenient because you don't have to pull out very far at all to see the oncoming traffic. In addition, if you have packages to load you can stand on the sidewalk while loading them into your trunk. That's a nice convenience!
Q: How do you communicate with cars behind you that you backing into a parking stall?
- The law requires you to signal when slowing and backing into a parking spot. You should signal just as you would when parallel parking.
Q: Won't reverse angle parking increase the number accidents?
- Actually, one of the most common causes of accidents is people backing out of standard angled parking without being able to see on-coming traffic. Reverse angled parking removes this difficulty. The initial stopping and signaling required for back-in angle parking is already an everyday occurrence throughout the city with parallel parking. Because of this familiarity, we do not expect accidents to increase. In fact, both Seattle and Tucson reported a decrease in parking-related accidents after back-in angle parking was implemented.
Q: Will we still be able to park on both sides of the street?
- Yes. On streets that are converted, one side of the street retains parallel parking and the other side becomes reverse angle parking.
Q: Why do we need to mark the pavement?
o prevents wasting valuable parking spaces o protects off-street parking access o maintains visibility at intersections o motorcycles and scooters will have designated parking spots o disabled parking is protected
Q: Why is the street becoming a one-way street?
- To safely implement angle parking, two-way streets must become one-way streets
Q: Will I still be able to double park?
- The goal is to increase spaces so you won't need to double park. However, no one can guarantee that a space will be open right in front of your home at exactly the time you need it.
- In the event you need to double park to unload groceries for example, another car will be able to pass as long as you don't stop in the middle of the street.
- Our neighbors on Chester Street, who already have angle parking, have said that temporary double parking is not a problem. Even when the semi-tractor trailor pulls up for deliveries to the little store there, vehicles are able to continue onto Eastern Avenue without delay.
Q: What if I don’t like one-way streets?
- Consider the benefits of one-way traffic:
o It increases safety by reducing speeds o It limits the number of cars entering challenging intersections, such as • Eastern Av and S Collington Av • Bank St and S Collington Av • Bank St and S Washington St • Pratt St and S Collingtion Av • Baltimore St and S Collington Av o One-way streets are less likely to become part of a bus route o It prevents commuters from using our neighborhood as a speedway
Q: Isn’t speeding a problem on one-way streets?
- Baltimore’s Department of Transportation (DOT) states that speeds slow when converting two-way streets to one-way streets with one lane of traffic. In addition, speeds are reduced in areas that have stop signs at each intersection, like most in our neighborhood.
Q: Don’t you remember Pratt and Lombard as one-way streets? Cars were flying!
- Pratt and Lombard were one-way streets with two lanes of traffic that had parallel parking on both sides, like Wolf and Washington are now. DOT says blocking the second lane of traffic with angle parking is an effective traffic calming measure and reduces speeds dramatically.
Q: Isn’t it ugly or tacky?
o The amount of gas wasted circling for parking and our carbon foot print when we spend 20, 30, 40 minutes searching for a space. o Our bumpers from squeezing into spaces we shouldn’t
Q: Don’t you realize this type of backing maneuver is very difficult for seniors?
- We know of no evidence to suggest age, gender, race, etc. plays any role in the ability to back or park a vehicle.
Q: Won’t it hurt by business/restaurant?
- Lack of parking close to retail and commercial establishments is a deterrent to customers
Q: Where can I see reverse angle parking in action?
Q: Are any other cities using reverse angle parking?