MUSCATINE, Iowa – What was designed to be a classroom experience on back-in angled parking for drivers is coming to an end on Linn Street in Muscatine.
Once Muscatine Power & Water has completed electrical work between Mississippi Drive and the substation, and reconstruction of Linn Street has been completed, the parking direction will change.
In August 2016 the City of Muscatine created a one block classroom for drivers to learn the ins-and-outs of back-in angled parking. This type of parking, which is growing in popularity among cities throughout the United States, was planned to be used on Mississippi Drive and city leaders believed an area to educate the public on the process was needed.
The one block length of Linn Street from the No. 1 Alley to Mississippi Drive was remarked for back-in angled parking and many drivers took advantage of this classroom experience.
Back-in angled parking has proven to be the safest and easiest parking maneuver on city streets when compared with two other options, parallel parking and pull-in angled parking. Back-in angled parking provides the driver better visibility when pulling out of the parking space and is safer to exit and enter parked vehicles by keeping drivers and passengers out of the flow of traffic.
Back-in angled parking is similar to parallel parking but with fewer steps. In both instances the driver is supposed to use their turn signal to indicate they are wanting to park. This also alerts traffic behind to slow down and give the driver ahead a chance to park. The three-step parallel parking process is replaced by the simple back-in process alleviating worries about hitting the car in front or the car behind.
Pull-in angled parking may be easier initially but lacks the safety that back-in angled parking provides. The driver and passengers could possibly have to move into the traffic flow to exit or enter the vehicle. The driver is also hindered with a blind spot created by cars that could be parked on both sides while the driver backs out. Oncoming traffic also cannot see the back-up lights of vehicles and may not be aware until it is too late.
Pull-in angled parking on Linn Street is expected to be available by Monday, July 2, depending on the weather and the painting of the new parking space lines. Linn Street is currently closed at the No. 1 Alley but is open to Mississippi Drive. MPW expects work in the area to be completed by mid-July and the No. 1 Alley reopened at that time.