Pending City Council approval, GetAbout Columbia has proposed a re-striping of Ash Street between Seventh and Ninth Streets in order to eliminate the current on-street parallel parking spots and replace them with back-in parking spots.
GetAbout Columbia has stated that the experimental parking could provide drivers and cyclists with better visibility and prevent accidents. On narrow, crowded streets, drivers may have difficulty seeing an oncoming pedestrian or cyclist, which can lead to “dooring,” or accidentally being whacked when drivers open their car doors.
While the re-striping project on Ash Street is only being viewed as experimental, Mayor Darwin Hindman told the Columbia Tribune that he is in favor of the new parking system.
“I believe in being open to trials, and I think, ‘Let’s just see. Let’s try it out,’ ” he said in the Tribune. “It’s not proposed citywide; it’s just a trial.”
Some are concerned that the back-in parking would be confusing for drivers since it is not commonly used and would make parking on Ash dangerous.
There are also financial concerns. Shifting of the meters and re-striping of the road will cost approximately $5,000, and the city would lose one parking spot.
Is back-in parking worth a try on Ash Street? Could it work in other parts of the city?