Friday, April 28, 2006

Why don't we have angled parking?

Lane widths in downtowns and on commercial streets need only be 8-10 feet, rather than the standard 12-plus feet. This means that many commercial streets are wide enough to accommodate angled parking in some sections. Angled parking can fit almost 50 percent more cars than parallel parking, and it calms traffic, creating a safer environment that’s more conducive to pedestrian use. (source: Historic Dundee blog)
For a long time now, I've wondered if this option was ever explored for downtown Elgin. I for one prefer angled parking, because parallel parking when there's traffic makes me very anxious--I'm not used to city life. I think I would definitely be more inclined to stop and park in the downtown if there was angled parking in front of downtown stores and restaurants. I think it would also make for a nicer walking atmosphere, since the parked cars would create more of a buffer between the sidewalk and the street.

I think for the most part, sidewalks in the downtown are wide enough to accomodate angled parking. Look at Grove Street for example, pictured below.

Downtown parking has always been an issue. No matter how many parking decks are built, nothing can compare with parking in front of your destination. If angled parking provides 50% more parking, it's something to consider.


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