Monday, September 26, 2016

Reverse angle parking on its way to Davidson

Notice anything unusual about this picture?

You might not notice it unless you are in a car looking for a place to park.  The parking lines are facing the "wrong" way, but no, that is not a mistake.  It's by design.

These spots by the new Linden Appartments on Jetton Street are Davidson's first example of what's called "reverse angle parking".  Instead of the parking angles allowing a driver to pull in head first to the right, they require drivers to back into the spots.

This article provided by Davidson Public Works manager, Doug Wright, was posted on the Lebanon, NH municipal site.  It gives a good overview of this parking setup.

The reason to use this setup can be summed up in one word - safety.

Reiterating some of the points in the above article Wright explains that reverse angle parking is safer because "passengers exiting the car are directed toward the sidewalk, unloading takes place on the sidewalk, bicycles are more visible when drivers head out vs. backing out."

While the spots on Jetton may be out of the way for most Davidsonians, the Town is looking at them as an option for a more prominent location - Main Street.

In August the Board approved a $30,000 budget amendment to begin studying Main Street improvements as well as planning for roundabouts at Davidson-Concord/Pine as well as Davidson-Concord/Robert-Walker.  Write says the Main Street improvements include this reverse angle parking idea. According to Wright, "the area under consideration is the front-angled parking in front of the Village Green and CVS.  The other major component is a proposed extension of the southbound left turn lane onto Concord, to allow more vehicle storage.  Both are being studied to reduce traffic congestion through town, with improved safety an additional benefit."  Wright also says these plans include"evaluating a mid-block crossing on Main St between Concord and Chairman Blake."

While certainly these changes if implemented will take getting used to, it's nice to see the town following through on its commitment to improve pedestrian safety.

Speaking of pedestrian safety, the Board will receive an update on these efforts from Chief Miller anda Public Information Officer Christina Shaul at Tuesday's Board meeting.

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