Back-in parking: A matter of inches

Calapooia Street on the west side of the Albany Post Office block, Thursday afternoon.

So how's Albany's new back-in angled parking working out? OK, I guess, but I'm getting a little worried about the new trees the city just paid to have planted.

Diagonal back-in parking on two blocks was part of the design for redoing the streets and sidewalks around the post office. A contractor completed the job this winter. It is the first phase of a larger downtown streetscape improvement program (without angled parking, back-in or otherwise).

On Calapooia Street on the post office's west side, motorists have adopted the new pattern even though parking spots have not yet been painted on the pavement.

Back-in angled parking has started on this block of Calapooia. It's also provided for in front of the post office on Second. In the background, the Albany Carousel building.

Riding past there on my bike on the way somewhere else, I happened to notice this. I also noticed that in a couple of cases, the rear ends of vehicles came pretty close to the new trees. A matter of inches, I would say. I'm wondering whether the designers of the tree placement were quite aware of one aspect of back-in parking: Vehicles end up hanging over the sidewalk, especially when we're talking vans and pickups.

When the trees reach maturity and get good and big, maybe they'll act as backstops. Until then, some rig backing in might just snap one off. (hh)

Not much room to spare between rear bumper and new tree.

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