Back-in parking experiment looking ugly
On Saturday afternoon, the 19 parking spaces on the 800 block of northbound Cooper Avenue were filled with 17 vehicles.Fifteen were parked illegally, including a massive SUV stuffed into the lone handicap parking spot on the block.What’s wrong with that picture?As part of the city’s traffic-calming plan, a back-in parking scheme was devised for that area. Motorists on the northbound lane are supposed to back in to the diagonal parking spaces.But what’s happening so far is motorists driving up from Seventh Street are driving across the double-yellow line and pulling straight in.The city is calling this an experiment. What it could be is a highly successful revenue-generating move, if they started handing out tickets to all the illegally parked vehicles.This is really about fixing something that wasn’t broken.There’s an argument that motorists will be able to return to Cooper Avenue more safely after they’ve backed in to the parking space. For the cars that pull straight in, there’s now a real danger since they must back out and cross the northbound lane.At this point, there is no signage to help motorists. Parking spaces are at a premium in downtown, so when motorists see a vacant space and lines painted the way they are now, they will snag that spot and pull in hood-ornament first.All experiments should be given a little time. It took a while to split the atom, and the plug wasn’t immediately pulled on Frankenstein.So let’s wait and see. But how long?We’re not off to a good start.Hopefully city officials will approach this as the experiment they say it’s meant to be and not force the issue with motorists if it isn’t working. If it causes problems, pull the plug.It shouldn’t take long to evaluate. It’s been less than a week and it already looks ugly.Kind of like Frankenstein. And we all know how that story ended.
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