Town Manager John Hozey updated Town Council Thursday about the current status of changing the parking pattern on Mason Avenue. As a note, larger vehicles, such as trucks will be banned from parking on Mason Avenue.
The traffic engineering firm has told the town that there are two basic options. First, they can submit a design change to VDOT to have the reverse-angle spaces converted to front-in parking.
The second option is to go with perpendicular 90 degree parking.
The advantage of using perpendicular parking is that it is basically a slam dunk. Nothing has to be submitted to VDOT-the town can move ahead right now and change the parking pattern.
During the discussion, Councilmen Follmer and Grossman came out against perpendicular parking, and apparently, since no other members commented, the notion was put to bed. The town will continue to move forward submitting a design change to VDOT for the conversion to front-in parking.
In last week’s Mirror, the top story involved evaluating whether or not golf carts pose a safety risk to the riders. While the Mirror was accused of trying to stir the pot, it should be noted that we don’t stir until the pot is boiling. That is, after several years and over 50 conversations or so, we will look into what many in town have concerns about.
That story led us to an odd epiphany. While never being a fan of reverse-angle parking, when evaluating golf cart traffic safety, it seems VDOT may have been correct in choosing this type of parking design.
It creates many more potential parking spaces, but it also creates a traffic boondoggle anytime someone has to make a two-point maneuver into one of the spaces. There is congestion with the initial stopping and backing maneuver. In reality, the residual effect is an overall slowing of vehicular traffic. Due to the oddness of the parking scheme, it seems everyone, especially visitors, drives just a little bit slower as they move down Front street. The Adams-Morgan area of Washington DC implemented reverse-angle parking to achieve these effects, which so far have proven effective there.
It took looking at another problem to actually see the design and what was practically intended in the first place.