A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Ho-hum: No end to parking saga

Written April 19th, 2018 by Hasso Hering

The same old story, it seems: As this Wednesday photo illustrates, backing into those angled spaces on Second Avenue outside the Albany Post Office just is not intuitive enough for some drivers.

This is not surprising. Based on a staff recommendation but without any public input, angled back-in parking was adopted by the advisory board of the Central Albany Revitalization Area at one meeting in May 2016. Nobody at the time considered the substantial difference between right-hand angled back-in parking, common in downtown Albany in the 1920s, and left-side angled back-in parking as now in effect on Second and Calapooia outside the post office.

With right-hand back-in parking, the motion is essentially the same as the parallel parking we all learning in driver’s ed. But none of that works when the angled spaces are on the left side. Drivers can’t see the lines on the pavement unless their vehicles have a back-up camera. And when pulling out, it’s sometimes impossible to see oncoming traffic because your view is blocked, if not by a pickup parked on your right, then by the pillar between your front and back side windows, or the headrest on the passenger seat.

My guess is that despite occasional ticketing of nose-in parkers, the problem will persist and continue to be an irritant as long as the back-in parking pattern is maintained. (hh)

11 responses to “Ho-hum: No end to parking saga”

  1. Ray Kopczynski says:

    “Drivers can’t see the lines on the pavement unless their vehicles have a back-up camera.”

    You not need a back-up camera whatsoever! You need only a *single* mirror on the driver-side and a modicum of common sense — which seems sorely lacking IMHO.

    Yes, it will be an “irritant” until people take just a very few minutes to learn how to do it…

    • Tim Hanson says:

      I consider myself a good driver. I don’t have a CDL, but I’ll put my driving record to back up my claim. I have a 2011 Highlander with back up camera and I find this parking method awkward at best. I avoid these spots when I can.

  2. Michael Dee says:

    Just back in without looking and take up two spaces.

  3. Terry says:

    This was an idiotic idea adopted without public input.
    No matter how much some people defend the city’s decision it will continue to be a thorn in everyone’s side.
    Why can’t the city just admit they’ve messed up and correct the issue?
    They’ve blown millions of dollars in old downtown for nothing. Re doing the parking area would be a drop in the bucket.

    • Avid Reader says:

      From the mayor on down through the council (which is CARA also…they make the CARA decisions), they never admit they are wrong. I know we are all flawed humans, but Mayor Konopa and her council are seriously flawed. They are never wrong, and, yes, they have blown taxpayer dollars on downtown Albany.

  4. Curious Citizen says:

    Shopping cart parking rules are next, I suppose.
    Thanks for the update.

  5. J. Jacobson says:

    Re: Backing-in Parking. I don’t believe the City Council thought it all the way through. They fell prey to William Pollard’s thinking.

    “Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.”

  6. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    “…just is not intuitive enough for some drivers.”

    Or, civil disobedience by citizens who recognize the stupidity behind this decision.

    But this was CARA making the decision, need I say more?

  7. Barb Branson says:

    Went by the P.O. this a.m. and no cars no traffic, so decided to give the back in parking a try. It worked! But since there were no other cars there I am not sure it was the space I was aiming for.


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