TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Drivers can now try their hand at reverse angle parking.
The City of Topeka added the back-in option on the west side of the 600 block of SW Van Buren St. City officials say it is an attempt to improve biker safety.
The project was recently completed. Parking in the stalls is free.
City officials say reverse angle parking makes it easier for drivers to see when they decide to leave, therefore making it easier to see approaching bicycles or pedestrians.
Complete news release from the City of Topeka:
TOPEKA, Kan. – Residents and visitors can now experience reverse-angle parking for free on the west side of the 600 block of SW Van Buren Street in Topeka.
Reverse-angle parking is similar to both parallel and standard-angle parking. As with parallel parking, the driver enters the stall by stopping and backing. When leaving the stall, the driver can simply pull forward, and has a better view of oncoming traffic. The reverse-angle parking accommodates the bike lane on SW Van Buren. This bike lane is part of Route 1 of the Topeka Bikeways Master Plan that connects 6th and 8th Avenues.
This City of Topeka project was completed this month, and the stalls are open for free parking. Parking meters have been removed from the stalls during this trial period.
Reverse-angle parking provides the following advantages:
· Better visibility when leaving. This is particularly important where drivers find their views blocked by large vehicles and/or tinted windows on adjacent parked vehicles.
· Drivers do not back blindly into an active traffic lane.
· The back-in maneuver is simpler than a parallel parking maneuver.
· The open doors of the vehicle block pedestrian access to the travel lane and guide pedestrians to the sidewalk, which is a safety benefit, particularly for children.
· Children exiting or entering the car are guided into the car when the door is opened, rather than blocked from the sidewalk.
· Back-in/head-out parking puts most cargo loading (into trunks, tailgates) on the curb, rather than in the street.
· This creates a more bicycle-friendly arrangement where drivers can see approaching bicycles.
· The driver of a parked vehicle can make eye contact with anyone in the street, including other drivers, bicyclists, or pedestrians.
C-Hawk Traffic Control, of Eudora, won the project bid of $14,000 for design and installation. Funding comes from Complete Streets fund.