The City of Springfield Department of Public Works, in partnership with the Commercial Street Historic District, introduced reverse-angle parking to C-Street as an eight-week pilot in the summer of 2016.
Reverse-angle parking involves parking stalls that are pointed away from the flow of on-coming traffic. Drivers must pull past the targeted spot, stop and signal, then slowly back in. While this style of parking has been implemented successfully in cities nation-wide, C-Street would be the first to utilize it in Springfield.
Transportation experts say reverse-angle parking is safer than standard head-in angle parking because of increased driver visibility when pulling out of a space into on-coming traffic.
Benefits of Reverse-angle Parking
Better visibility when drivers leave a space, entering on-coming traffic.
Items can be loaded into vehicles from the sidewalk.
Open doors shield passengers from the flow of traffic.
Safer for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists due to increased visibility.
The pilot program involved restriping and posting signs in the pilot area between Robberson Avenue and Jefferson Avenue, near the market plaza. C-Street businesses distributed information to helped educate visitors to the area. The goal of the pilot was to educate the public about the new parking method and learn whether reverse-angle parking is right for Commercial Street.
A 2015 parking study of the booming district found a need for 170 additional parking spaces. While several options are being explored, the quickest and lowest-cost solution was to restripe the existing on-street parking to eliminate the center lane and replace the parallel stalls on the south side of the street with angled stalls. Angled parking will create over 80 additional on-street parking spots.
While reverse-angle stalls would not provide additional spaces than traditional angled parking, the added safety benefits for vehicles, passengers and bicyclists appealed to C-Street business owners who brought the idea forward in meetings with Public Works.
From 2010 to 2014, there were 10 crashes reported on Commercial Street involving a vehicle backing out of an angled space. This represents 55% of crashes on Commercial Street during that time period.