The City recently received almost $1 million in grants for its downtown streetscape plan.  As part of the project, the City is considering a potential change to downtown parking that would require drivers to back-in to the diagonal spaces.  However, because it represents a significant change, the City will be conducting a pilot project test period for two months to try it out and get feedback from the community before a decision is made whether to proceed.

Many cities around the country are implementing what is referred to as “reverse diagonal parking”, which has been found to significantly increase safety. Reverse diagonal parking reduces serious collisions by eliminating the need to back out blindly into traffic.  Bike safety is enhanced by enabling cyclists to make eye contact with a driver exiting a parking space.  Since doors open toward the street, they block children from running into traffic. It also increases safety and convenience for people loading and unloading items because the trunk is adjacent to the sidewalk instead of traffic.

It may seem difficult at first because most drivers aren’t used to it.  However, reverse parking is actually simpler than parallel parking that is currently found on the majority of streets.  This is because it involves the one movement of backing in rather than two movements of simultaneously backing in and turning.

If the City does decide to implement back-in parking, it is only being considered for Broadway Street from Russ Street to First Avenue.  Diagonal spaces on the adjacent side streets would remain front-in parking.  This would provide many parking alternatives if anyone decides they prefer not to use the back-in parking.

The demonstration test will take place on the south side of Broadway Street between Vanderhurst Avenue and Third Street, which will be converted for a period of two months beginning on Thursday, April 23rd.  A kick-off demonstration will be held on April 27th at 12:30 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to try it and then complete an online survey at

You may contact City Hall at 385-3281 if you have questions.