|Most cities and towns use angle or diagonal parking to squeeze in a few more automobile parking spaces on city streets. BikeWalkKC is working to reform parking policy in Greater Kansas City to encourage a switch back-in angle parking, which is safer for bicyclists, pedestrians, and even motorists.
The Problem – Head-In Angle Parking
The traditional design in Kansas City has cars pull forward into the parking space, and then back out of the space into traffic. This design is hazardous to bicyclists because it means cars are blindly backing into traffic and potentially striking bicyclists. It is especially a problem to use head-in angle parking on streets designated as bike routes, where the city is encouraging bicycle traffic.
The Solution – Back-in Angle Parking
Dozens of cities across the country have solved the problem simply reversing the angles. Cars now pull just past the parking space and then back into it. It is like parallel parking, but much easier. To pull out of the space, motorists look left for approaching traffic and then pull forward.
Proven to be safer
Easier for motorists
Safer for everyone
Back-In Angle Parking In Kansas City
Angle parking became an issue in Kansas City in 2009. A developer proposed a mixed-use infill project in the Columbus Park neighborhood and wanted to add angle parking to on 5th Street. Since 5th Street is designated as a future bike route in the City’s Bike KC plan, city staff and advocates pushed for back-in angle parking.
The developer pushed back and insisted on head-in angle parking. At that time the neighborhood was in the 1st District represented by Councilmembers Deb Hermann and Bill Skaggs, who both supported the developer and strongly opposed the “new-fangled” back-in angle parking. Strong community support led to 4th District Councilmember Beth Gottstein and City Engineer proposing a compromise demonstration project.
That first demonstration project debuted in November of 2010 on McGee Street in the Crossroads Arts District. That project did not cause chaos, so the Columbus Park developer was ultimately required to use back-angle parking on 5th Street when the project moved forward in the summer of 2012.
A third location was added in 2012 at Westport Road and Main Street in Midtown, as part of the MainCor streetscape project. Unfortunately we missed a great opportunity to convert existing angle parking to back-in when Baltimore Avenue was repaved in the Crossroads in 2011. A few property owners objected to the new-fangled idea and the City acquiesced.
The idea continues to spread. Residents and developers in Midtow’s Hyde Park neighborhood are in discussions with the Parks Department about converting the four lane Armour Boulevard to two lanes with back-in angle parking.
Reforming Parking Policy
Where is it?
Westport Road/Main Street
Images of Back-in Angle Parking, Project for Public Spaces