Back-in/Head-out Angle Parking

NelsonNygaard Consulting Associates

In recent years the use of back-in/head-out angle parking has increased steadily in cities across North America. There are several reasons for this development. Kulash and Lockwood (2003) state that:

"Back-in/head-out diagonal parking is superior to conventional head-in/back-out diagonal parking. Both types of diagonal parking have common dimensions, but the back-in/headout is superior for safety reasons due to better visibility when leaving. This is particularly important on busy streets or where drivers find their views blocked by large vehicles, tinted windows, etc., in adjacent vehicles in the case of head-in/back-out angled parking. In other words, drivers do not back blindly into an active traffic lane. The back-in maneuver is simpler than a parallel parking maneuver. Furthermore, with back-in/head-out parking, the open doors of the vehicle block pedestrian access to the travel lane and guide pedestrians to the sidewalk, which is a safety benefit, particularly for children. Further, back-in/headout parking puts most cargo loading (into trunks, tailgates) on the curb, rather than in the street."

The growing presence on American streets of sport utility vehicles (SUVs), with their bulky rear ends and (frequently) tinted windows may have spurred the trend toward backin/head-out angle parking: when using conventional angle parking, drivers increasingly find themselves beside an SUV, with more difficult sightlines.

This report briefly discusses the design and benefits of back-in/head-out angle parking and shows where the design has already been implemented.

Filed in: Community Problems and Solutions

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