Signal. Stop. Reverse. Pandemonium?

Signal. Stop. Reverse. Pandemonium?

By Juan Perez Jr. November 20, 2012 12:50 pm Comments

A new style of parking has come to parts of downtown Omaha. Some believe this is insane.

It’s called “back-in” angle parking, and as signs posted at a handful of city locations suggest, it requires drivers to back into a stall instead of nosing into it.

This concept is being tested along a portion of Leavenworth Street near 16th and 15th Streets, along a portion of Park Avenue and in a couple other spots around town.

The area around Patrick’s Market and Police Headquarters is the city’s latest showcase for the concept. Howard Street now runs two ways between 14th and 16th Streets, and new back-in spots are a featured element. The idea could extend elsewhere in the near future (think Midtown Crossing or other parts of Farnam Street)

Planners basically want a safer parking option in areas where pedestrians, cars and bicycles tend to mingle.

We’ll see how drivers respond to the changes, and whether there’s a way to quantify how much the idea contributes to safer driving conditions in “mixed-use” developments.

Other communities have used this idea for quite some time, and there’s a bit of information out there on how it works and its perceived benefits.

One example: the community of Pottstown, Penn. commissioned its own analysis and included some brief summations of what other cities have experienced. Many other cities have pointed to this study as well. A longer study conducted by a San Francisco-based consulting firm alludes to the Pottstown study , along with one from the City of Vancouver and from other cities. Several cities, including Indianapolis, often compile shorter informational brochures as well.