No Back-In Parking for Broadway Streetscape Project

Broadway will not implement back-in angle parking in the streetscape project.

The Newport City Council voted to receive a recommendation from City Manager Jane Howington to keep parking in the Broadway Streetscape Project front-in angle parking during Wednesday night's meeting.

City staff conducted a feasibility investigation on implementing back-in angle parking. A report, provided by the Louis Berger Group, recommended that parking should remain as initially designed for several reasons.

According to the report, there have only been an average of 2.5 angle  parking accidents on Broadway. The report also cited public resistance to back-in parking, especially from the elderly, could be problematic.

Instances from Brunswick, ME and Plattsburg, NY, were also cited in the report, where communities adopted and later reversed back-in angle parking after negative publicity.

Confusion between traditional parking near Washington Square was also a concern.

A redesign of the Broadway Streetscape Project to incorporate back-in parking was estimated at about $49,500 in additional coss.  Modifications required in the redesign included changes to the roadway design, landscaping design, street lighting  and utility design, stormwater design and traffic design.

Regarding scheduling implications, the redesign would have required four weeks  to implement the changes.

Bari George, of Bike Newport, told the city council despite the concerns, she hoped the city would consider back-in parking should a new opportunity arise.

The benefits of back-in parking have been substantial enough around the country to have gained acceptance and the city should be prepared to consider the method, she said. 

Herb Armstrong December 13, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Yes, backing up IS more dangerous (certainly not the most dangerous maneuver), and that is exactly why back-in parking makes sense. The back up maneuver is done when you're leaving the street, rather than entering it. It is simply safer for the driver. That it improves bicyclist saftey is merely a secondary (or tertiary) benefit. The primary benefit is to facilitate moving back into the road and entering the trafic stream more smoothly with better visibility and more sure handling.
nmb December 13, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Driving in reverse requires more care and attention by nature, therefor I (and I presume most drivers) are more prone to checking what's behind, checking that it's clear, and going slowly when backing OUT of parking spaces. On the other hand, pulling forward out of a parking spot, means i'm more likely to put the car in gear and my foot on the gas. So it seems to me that we should line up the times when people are naturally more careful and the times when there are more potential obstacles: leaving parking spaces and entering traffic. ...Also, yes, low number of accidents IS in fact a reason to keep the current procedure, I'm a firm believer in "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
nptresident December 13, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Gee, thanks ICANDRIVE for the advice. Yes, you do have to back out but you are backing out to a larger space (i.e. the road) than a small slot of a parking space. Is this really an issue for Broadway? Do we have that many problems backing into the street????? And if it was proposed for Broadway, why not Washington Square? Why not all parking lots? This is a phony issue. I am glad to see the City Council and the City Manager see that way.
nptresident December 13, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Agreed. We are supposed to change while bike riders flaunt the law all the time. Last summer, the police even had to put up a big flashing sign on Thames to tell bike riders not to go the wrong way or they would be fined. Check the four way stop at Farewell and Marlborough. Bike riders never stop. NEVER. They think cars should yield to them while they come full speed ahead through the intersection. The summer time is especially dangerous.
Tom December 14, 2012 at 12:33 AM
It doesn't take a consultant to figure out that it was a bad idea. Stop screwing up traffic for a minority entity.


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