SAFETY CONCEPT - Back In Angled Parking

Parking Permitted SignWhen we lived in Penticton we would often go to the beach after dinner, parking on Lakeshore Drive. This was nose in angled parking on the lake side of the two way street. Back in angled parking might be a better solution and could be created simply by changing the painted lines.

instructions for back in angled parking

If you were lucky enough to find a spot, parking was easy. However, leaving could be a problem, especially if something big was parked to your right.

People often resorted to having one passenger stop traffic to allow the driver to back out. The passenger would then get in while everyone waited. The alternative was an elevated risk of collision if westbound drivers did not stop to let vehicles out.

Pros for Back in Angled Parking

  • It's easier to back in to angle parking than parallel parking
  • Drivers don't back out into moving traffic
  • Passenger exits and cargo access is toward the sidewalk / off the road
  • Drivers have a better view of traffic when leaving the parking space

Cons for Back in Angled Parking

  • Drivers need to learn something new
  • Drivers who lack backing skills
  • Congestion caused by drivers stopping to back in
  • Drivers crossing the road to park nose in

Solutions for the Cons

  • Driving will never be a static skill, there will eventually be something new to learn for all drivers.
  • New drivers must already demonstrate reverse stall parking skills to obtain their licence. It will be the experienced drivers that need improvement.
  • Congestion is already caused by drivers backing out slowly and even stopping part way out because they cannot see
  • This is already illegal on laned roadway in BC

How to Back Into Angled Parking

  1. Slow down and signal to let others know you are going to park. 
  2. Approach the stall approximately one vehicle width from the parked vehicles.
  3. When your vehicle’s back bumper is in line with the parked car ahead of your stall’s driver side rear bumper, stop and put your vehicle into reverse. 
  4. Begin steering sharply while slowly reversing towards the centre of the stall. 
  5. Remember to use your mirrors and shoulder check either side as you are turning into the stall so you don’t hit the vehicles beside you.
  6. Once your vehicle is centred in the stall, straighten your wheels and continue reversing until you are completely in the parking stall.


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Interesting that the video they produce shows a car on a one-way street, reversing to the left. Rather than any wide-enough street, reversing to the right. Cause to be fair, that's slightly more challenging; especially if the driver is unaccustomed to using their mirrors to assist.

Municipalities may apply their own bylaws and applications. For instance, in Burnaby along Hastings Street, the first block of Madison Avenue going south from there has designated 'reverse stall back-in only' signage. And notably, a couple of blocks to the west, Carleton Avenue has a similar setup both north and south of Hastings. Interestingly, it appears that this is because this is actually a designated bike route, and this method of parking must surely reduce the chances of a cyclist getting 'doored' or being unseen by the driver leaving the space.

Meanwhile, in the City of North Vancouver, municipal bylaws completely outlaw reverse angle stall parking, and are enforced rigidly (frankly they will enforce anything that involves parking and easy ticketing whilst cheerfully ignoring pedestrian misbehaviour at crosswalks completely).

It is much easier to stop traffic to back off the street than it is to back onto the street. This type of parking would be much safer.

I love the idea of back-in parking, and have utilized it wherever I can. It would be good to see a pilot project underway somewhere, although changing the lines could be a fairly expensive process. What if a municipality were to select an appropriate block and temporarily designate the entire block a parking lot - no through traffic. Everyone would drive like they were in Britain or Australia. Find your spot, back in. The entrance and exit of the block would have to be carefully marked. The upside of this would be that motorists would quickly discover how much they like/hate the concept, and let City Hall know. Sounds corny don't it? 

Just a thought as well as experiance in the nort van "trial reverse parking" on 15th.

People back in too far.  No room for wheelchairs.  Its also on a 2 way street.