From reporter Christian Hill:
Question: Suzi Loya of Gig Harbor noticed the back-in angle parking in front of the University Place Town Center while driving down Bridgeport Way recently. She wonders how a driver accomplishes this maneuver safely and the advantages it has over pull-in or parallel parking.
Answer: The city elected to construct the back-in angle parking after a consultant’s recommendation and internal study prior to construction of the improvements along Bridgeport Way in 2009.
City officials have say this type of parking is safer than the alternative because it’s easier for motorists to see oncoming motorists and bicyclists nosing out of a space instead of backing out. An explanation on the city’s Web sites reports a threefold increase in collisions for traditional angle parking compared to the back-in variant. It also notes collisions that occur from back-in angle parking are less severe.
Motorists should stop in advance of the stall and put on their right blinker to notify other drivers of their intention, similar to parallel parking. They then motor forward to align with the space and back into it. The wide bike lane acts as a shoulder to provide extra room. The spaces are 9.5 feet wide to accommodate poor alignment of the vehicle and open doors.
There is sure to be more use of the parking as the new University Place Pierce County Library opened Feb. 12. Applebee’s, Town Center’s first private tenant, is scheduled to open later this year.