HOW IT WORKS
Using their right-turn signal, drivers pull just ahead of their intended parking space and stop. Turning the wheel slightly, drivers back into the space at about a 45-degree angle. To leave the space, motorists should check for oncoming traffic on their left before pulling forward toward the right into the street.
Parking along the 200 block of Broad Street will look a little backward after the city's change today to back-in angled parking.
The new parking spaces -- which will create seven additional parking stalls -- will take up a lane of traffic on each side of the street, but the intersections will remain six lanes each, said city Traffic Engineer John VanWinkle.
He said backing into the spaces is safer than traditional angled or perpendicular parking.
"You can see better because you're on the front end of the car," he said.
The change would only affect parking in the outer right-hand lane of Broad Street.
City workers will grind the paint marking the current parallel spaces and repaint the angled spaces at a "nominal" cost, Mr. VanWinkle said.
The spaces will be on both sides of the single block that includes Big River Grille and the old Bijou theater.
Kim White, president of The RiverCity Co., a nonprofit promoter of downtown development, said the additional parking could help sway retailers into setting up shop downtown.
"Our goal is to bring more retailers downtown," she said. "And that's one of the things we have been hit with. They would like more parking on the street."
The one-block project is intended to be a test to see if other on-street parallel spaces could be converted in the future, Mr. VanWinkle said.
"We wanted to start in this area that's closest to the core of the entertainment center," he said.
The conversion should take about a day to complete, with the new spaces in order by Wednesday, Mr. VanWinkle said.
The city will post signs explaining the change, he said.