Friday, June 28, 2013

Route 35 and Back-In Angle Parking

As the reconstruction of Route 35 nears time is running short on the final decision to stripe bike lanes along the road where it is feasible. Complete streets advocates have been hearing positive if anecdotal comments from sources within NJDOT that bike lanes along with improved crosswalks and sidewalks are being given serious consideration.

However in places like Lavallette and Seaside Park the installation of bike lanes comes up against a design barrier; Bike lanes are incompatible with standard angle parking. The lack of driver visibility while backing out into traffic poses a crash hazard to bicycles and it is clearly not recommended in engineering manuals.

Angled parking is important to beach communities where parking is at a premium, a block with angled parking increases the capacity for a typical block by 50%. Asking a community to give up 1/3 of its parking spaces by converting to parallel parking is an extremely heavy lift.

But all is not lost! There is a very simple solution to the angled parking conundrum that greatly improves safety for bicyclists, pedestrians and outgoing parked vehicles. It is known as Reverse Angle or Back In Angle parking.

More on back-in angled parking after the jump.

A report on back-in angle parking published by Nelson Nygaard offers statistics and examples of successful projects and also has compiled a list of some of the benefits:

1. Improved visibility and increased field of vision. 
  • When leaving the parking space, motorists are able to see oncoming traffic.
2. Improved safety: 
  • For children. Car doors open in a manner that directs children to the back of the vehicle, ushering them towards the sidewalk rather than the street.
  • For cyclists. As vehicles exit their parking space, they are able to see cyclists in the roadway. Dooring is not an issue with back-in angle parking.
3. Improved loading and unloading. 
  • Trunks are adjacent to the sidewalk and open car doors offer protection from the street, allowing loading and unloading to occur outside of the traveled roadway.

Not in New Jersey - But nearby
We do not know of any on-street back-in angle parking in New Jersey. However this type of parking is now widespread in nearby places like New York City, Philadelphia, Pottstown PA, Wilmington DE, Dover DE and Washington DC.  It's a complete streets treatment that New Jersey traffic engineers should look at more often.

View Larger Map
Back-in angle parking with a bike lane in Pottstown, PA


Unknown said...

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Michal said...

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