Two recent parking changes in West Seattle:
RITE-AID LOT ADDS PAID PARKING: When we reported recently on the new contract-holder for vehicle licensing in West Seattle, he mentioned that one strike against the old location (he’s moving into Westwood Village instead) was that paid parking was going in at Rite-Aid across the street (5217 California SW). We hadn’t confirmed that until noticing this past weekend that it’s now in place. While there are still free spaces for customers in front of the store, and some on either side, the rest are now controlled by Diamond Parking, $2/first hour, $1 subsequent hours, and they’re selling monthly parking too ($30). The free spaces are marked 60 MINS. in white paint, while the paid spaces say PAY, in yellow paint. Diamond’s other lots around West Seattle (and elsewhere) are mapped here.
DUWAMISH HEAD GOES BACK-IN: Stewart L. sent this photo recently, noting the “back-in only” sign was new:
We asked SDOT about it. While they didn’t explain why they decided to add the signage now, spokesperson Ethan Bergerson explained why the department prefers it for angled parking:
All back-in angle spaces follow the guidelines outlined in the Institute of Traffic Engineers Handbook. Traffic safety and crash data analysis showed a 3-1 ratio of collisions occurring with head-in parking spaces as opposed to back-in parking spaces. Back-in angle parking is safer than head-in for several reasons:
· Traffic is already stopped when the driver is backing into a parking space, rather than backing out into a moving traffic lane when visibility is limited.
· When leaving a parking space it is easier and safer to drive into a travel lane than back a vehicle out of a space into a travel lane.
· People on bicycles are better able to avoid a vehicle backing into a parking space than a vehicle backing out of a space into a cyclist’s path.
· The time required to back into an angle space requires less time than to park parallel or to back out of an angle stall, therefore traffic delays are reduced.
For these reasons, it has been the preference of SDOT to install back-in angle parking since at least the late 1960s. The only locations where we continue to consider head-in angle parking are on one-way downhill streets.