Back-in parking on S. Congress to be in place by Thursday

City crews will spend the next two nights painting in about 380 reverse-angle parking spaces on South Congress Avenue between Riverside Drive and Live Oak Street, more than doubling the citys supply of the new-fangled style of parking.
The work should be nearly complete by 6 a.m. Thursday, city Transportation Department spokeswoman Leah Fillion said, with only some touch-up necessary later that day. Crews will work from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. tonight and Wednesday night, she said.

The change will add about 70 spaces to that interval, mostly by replacing parallel parking in certain sections with angled parking (which uses less curb length per space) and by adding parking in some areas where none existed before.

The city over the past couple of years has installed about 250 reverse-angle spaces on Dean Keeton Street, West Sixth Street and West Third Street.

With reverse-angle, or back-in angle, parking, a motorist drives past the space, then backs in. When leaving, the driver goes forward rather than backing out. Advocates say that it is safer, in particular, for bicyclists because motorists can more easily see a bike approaching. But they also argue that it will reduce car-to-car accidents from people backing out into traffic.

Critics worry that it will cause more fender-bender accidents as drivers, unfamiliar with the maneuver, attempt to guide their cars backwards into relatively tight spaces between other parked cars.

Crews have already painted in some other major changes on South Congress (following a new coat of asphalt that crews laid down over the past few weeks), including a continuous bike lane on the southbound side and somewhat thinner traffic lanes for cars.
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