Queens, NY - A Bit of Parking Confusion on 108th Street
Queens, NY - Newly painted vertical parking opposite to the flow of traffic causes difficulties.
Calling it a safety improvement, the city Transportation Department is flipping parking lines on some wide streets to encourage drivers to back into angled curbside spots.
“It’s safer to back into an empty parking space than back out of one into oncoming traffic,” DOT spokesman Seth Solomonow said.
But by reversing the angle of the painted lines that define the parking spaces, DOT has made it much harder for drivers to park headfirst.
“I find it very confusing,” contractor David Graber, 61, said, parking on 108th St. near 65th Road in Forest Hills.
“The last time I was here, it was easy. You just pulled right in. They should’ve used someone less educated to make this decision.”
Lara Gomez, 37, also had difficulty parking in one of two newly defined strips of parking spaces on 108th St. between 64th Road and 65th Ave.
She had to pull off a three-point maneuver: swing in to the curb, reverse to straighten out her minivan and slip into the spot.
“And I still parked crooked,” she said.
A 30-year resident of the area, Gomez was pleased the DOT gave the strip some attention.
“It’s nice they renovated it,” Gomez said. “But it’s reversed, it’s the wrong way. It’s not confusing, it’s just backward.”
The Automobile Club of New York generally supports back-in parking, agreeing that it’s a safer route, spokesman Robert Sinclair said.
“We do worry that it would be confusing and there would need to be a period of adjustment for drivers to get accustomed to this method of parking,” Sinclair said.
“Certainly, there needs to be large signs indicating that you need to back into these types of spaces.”
Solomonow said the changes to 108th St. are recent and signs alerting drivers to the new pattern are about to be installed.
He said such conversions are not new, and have been carried out in other areas where there is angled parking or when parallel parking spots are changed to angle-parking spaces.
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