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Back-in for Safety#

Back-in angle parking coming to Fort Collins

What do you back-in for? Bikes, babies, pedestrians or puppies? Whatever your motivation to back-in park, the City is making it easier than ever with a new back-in angle parking pilot program. The new back-in parking spaces on Howes Street, between Maple Street and Laporte Avenue, will determine if back-in angle parking works well and if it should be used elsewhere in Fort Collins.

Back-in angle parking survey

How it Works#

Back-in only angle parking

Backing into a parking space is easy!  Remember, you do this often with parallel parking. Follow these easy steps and you’ll be a professional back-in parker in no time.

  1. Use your right turn signal to let others know your intention to park.
  2. Drive past the parking space and stop.
  3. Put your car in reverse and back into the parking space.
  4. Ready to leave? Look to the left for oncoming cars, bicycles and other roadway users, and when clear, pull out of the space.

Project Benefits#

Back-in angle parking offers numerous benefits over traditional parallel parking and front-in angle parking.  Through this pilot project, we want to evaluate public feedback and compliance with this, new to Fort Collins, concept to understand how it can work in other locations throughout the city.

Benefits include:

  • Face Forward: When exiting the stall, you no longer need to back out into traffic without being able to see.
  • Visibility: It’s easy to see oncoming traffic when pulling out of the stall, allowing for better eye contact between drivers, people on bikes, and other road users.
  • Parked Cars: While backing into a parking stall can be intimidating at first, unlike front-in angle parking, you will be backing into an empty stall, not into live traffic.
  • Stay Safe: Unloading your trunk or tailgate can now be down safely from the sidewalk versus in the active street.
  • Do It for the Kids: Children and other passengers are better protected, because the open car door directs them away from traffic and towards the sidewalk.

Project Background#

Source: Mercury News

The City’s 2014 Bicycle Master Plan recommended back-in angle parking as a strategy for safer and more comfortable bicycling in Fort Collins’ downtown. Howes Street, between Maple and Laporte, was identified as the optimal location to test this concept for the following reasons:

  1. Identified as a primary bike corridor along the City’s low-stress bicycle network.
  2. The street is being repaved and restriped through the City’s Street Maintenance Program in 2019, offering a clean slate for a new striping solution.
  3. The existing front-in angle parking is only 20 spaces, which allows for a small pilot project to test the effectiveness and public perceptions.
  4. The parking is located adjacent to a park and a parkway between the sidewalk and the curb, giving space for bumpers to overhang and not conflicting with sidewalk cafes or pedestrians using the sidewalk
  5. The parking is not term-limited and is frequently used by the same parkers.