OCEANSIDE — Oceanside took a second look at reverse angle parking in its downtown after lines were striped in almost three years ago. City staff shared the findings of a driver survey of reverse angle parking with City Council on June 21, which council unanimously approved.
The back-in parking was added to downtown streets as part of the Mission Avenue improvement plans in 2014. Spaces are on North Cleveland Street and Seagaze Drive.
Benefits over head-in parallel parking include greater driver visibility, fewer collisions, improved pedestrian and bike safety, better loading and unloading and more parking spots.
The survey of city drivers was launched in March. Seventy-five randomly selected drivers and 25 Mission Avenue business owners took the survey. Drivers were evenly split in being observed using back-in, head-in and parallel parking.
The survey asked drivers and business owners to rate ease of back-in parking, knowledge of its benefits and desire for more back-in parking. Response choices were positive, neutral or negative. The survey also recorded how the responder parked, or whether the responder is a business owner.
Staff reported overall results of usage, knowledge and benefits of reverse angle spaces were neutral.
“The respondents were less interested over the pro or con of reverse angle parking and more concerned over the overall availability of parking in the downtown area,” city staff said in the report.
Nearly all business owners wrote in comments that the lack of nearby parking had a negative impact on their business for customers and employees. There were also numerous comments from business owners that employees had been ticketed for exceeding two-hour parking limits.
Other interesting survey results were drivers who back-in park rated their knowledge of the benefits of reverse angle parking the highest, and were most in favor of additional reverse angle spaces.
City staff concluded reverse angle parking should be considered in future road improvement projects because of the many benefits it brings.
Councilwoman Esther Sanchez requested the review when she found herself the only no vote against approving reverse angle parking three years ago. Part of her objection to the spaces was the difficulty to back into them. Other council members said people would adapt to the new parking strategy.