A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Backing in: Not yet 100 percent

Written March 27th, 2018 by Hasso Hering

After hours Tuesday, a lone vehicle is parked nose-in at the Albany Post Office.

The back-in parking requirement on the left side of Second Avenue at the Albany Post Office turns heads, literally and of necessity. But it still has not completely caught on.

After 5, as in the photo above, you can park nose-in with apparent impunity. If nobody is around, who’s going to care, let alone whip out his ticket book?

But this hapless fellow got caught during the day on March 2.

Considering all the complaining when the back-in parking on two streets bordering the post office was imposed last spring, I recently wondered how many drivers had been issued citations for parking there head-in. I asked Lise Grato, executive director of the Albany Downtown Association whose ParkWise program is handling parking enforcement downtown.

She couldn’t tell me. Until recently, ParkWise didn’t have a separate code in its system for violations of the “back-in parking only requirement,” which was new for Albany when it started last year. To get a number, someone would have to review parking tickets and study the photo attached to each. Who has the time, or inclination? Not me, and not Lise Grato.

But she told me, back on March 5, that when the new requirement took effect, ParkWise issued “friendly warnings” instead of citations for a time when somebody was parked nose-in.

“Getting motorists to back-in angle park is an ongoing issue,” Grato wrote to me then. “Mid-afternoon I drove along Calapooia, and there was a car parked front-in.”

And as I noticed when I snapped these photos outside the Second Avenue post office door, it evidently takes more than a few signs and a few months of acclimatization to draw everyone’s attention to the prescribed way to park. (hh)

20 responses to “Backing in: Not yet 100 percent”

  1. Robert Kahn says:

    Total Joke. More brilliant oversight from City Hall

  2. Terry says:

    Backin parking, goofy, unnecessary, expensive, random lights hanging down the center of our streets, bulb-outs, roundabouts…….!
    If anyone thinks this city cares what we think, guess again.

    Most people can’t park head in, let alone backing in!

  3. James Engel says:

    Avoid downtown & use the satellite postal station at Main & Santiam.. Quick, friendly & you can nose in like vehicles were designed to!

  4. Tim Hanson says:

    Here is why I think back-in parking challenges people. It requires practice and patience. First, the driver must drive past the open space and judge his distance behind him accurately. And he must hope that there isn’t an impatient driver behind him who has crept too close to his bumper rendering the back-in maneuver several times more complicated. Next, this driver must use mirrors (and camera if equipped) to align left and right sides of the car and then maintain alignment while backing to the curb, but not over it.

    There are probably many reasons why so few cities that I’ve been in have back-in parking spaces on street parking spots.

  5. Linda says:

    Absolutely a ridiculous idea! Whose was it anyway???

  6. chuck says:

    these spaces are much too narrow for an old fart to easily access. Should have measured Costco spaces!

  7. Ray Kopczynski says:

    To “get there” to nose in, one has to drive the wrong way on a one-way street. It would be better to have the local PD happen to see that and catch the person in the act. A parking ticket won’t correct this seriously stupid, now dangerous, & asinine behavior!

    Yes, as has been stated before, back in parking does take some practice if you’re not used to doing it. It’s not rocket science for sure. If you’re unwilling to master the art, you need to seriously consider parking elsewhere or turning in your drivers license due to incompetence.

  8. Stephen Brown says:

    There are many good reasons cited here for this bad idea of backing in to a parking space, not the least of which is providing a real opportunity for increased risks of accidents. Backing in to any space requires so much more skill that many folks o not feel comfortable with. One additional concern I have is pedestrian safety. Someone, anyone, walking along as a vehicle is backing in better be vigilant in keeping an eye on said vehicle. City officials might want to revisit their logic and perhaps obtain costs for re-striping the parking spaces. Based on the comments I’ve read so far, it would seem the City would do well to make the change. One other point: If a vehicle stopping to begin backing in is being followed by other vehicles, those vehicles will be required to stop and wait until the lane is clear. In peak driving hours, this could make for multiple levels of frustration by others. Come on Albany, do the right thing here by your citizenry.

  9. Michelle says:

    My biggest concern is how are they getting to these parking spots in the first place. Are they driving the wrong way on a one way street? I have witnessed it myself and was almost hit by a driver going the wrong way or are they backing in and out to turn around to face the wrong direction?

  10. Jason says:

    Hasso –

    Do you intend to cater your stories to the readers, in a way that will incite anger and intolerance. You circle back to the topics that raise the ire, fairly regularly.
    1.) CARA – All day every day. Your readership, or more accurately those who take time to comment, by in large, can’t stand progress or change.
    2.) This back-in parking, topic is baffling to them and you, it seems. It is different, but not impossible.
    3.) Anything the City of Albany does, can’t be right. Thankful for Councilor Ray, be the occasional voice of reason.
    4.) And all hell breaks loose from a few righteous few, if you spell something wrong…
    Just a few observations.

    • centrist says:

      First, remember that HH is retired and can post what he wants (within limits) on this BLOG. If he wants to poke the bear for a predictable response from some, that’s his choice.
      “Dog bites man” was never a headline. Suspect he’s using the “Man bites dog” theory and seeing where it goes.

  11. Dick Olsen says:

    I agree. The most complaints I get are about the craziness of back-in parking.

  12. Ardy says:

    Back in leaves bumpers & trailer hitches hanging over the sidewalk for people to fall over.

  13. Bob Sattem says:

    Let me ask this. If you can’t back in how do you back out? Seems to me either way you do it you have to back up either to get in or get out. Just saying….. LOL

  14. Jerry Boydston says:

    The city of Sisters did this a few years ago. Not sure if they still have back in parking now, but it seemed pretty silly at the time I was driving thru and trying to get some pastries there…

  15. GinnyJ says:

    I will be the lone person who actually likes this parking style. Guess I’m just a very good driver who learned the fine art of back in parking. Oh and parallel parking too!


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