Back-in Angle Parking: Easier, Safer

Back-in angle parking

Why Back-in Angle Parking?

  • Studies have shown it’s safer and easier than parallel and front-in angle parking
  • Visibility is increased for the driver as they leave their parking space
  • Eliminates the risk of a driver clipping bicyclists and other motorists while opening their door

Just as roundabouts have taken drivers some time to get used to as they’ve been introduced in many communities, back-in angle parking comes with a learning curve.

A case in point is the brand new River Prairie Development in Altoona, Wisconsin, where some visitors who are checking out the new and under-construction businesses in the rapidly developing area have apparently been puzzled by the parking along several of the new streets. Back-in angle parking is a new concept for this region in west central Wisconsin.

Back-in angle parkingThe parking accommodations along the Ayres-designed Meadowlark Lane, Blazing Star Boulevard, and Bluestem Boulevard in Altoona involve pulling up past an angle parking stall and backing into the stall. Studies have shown back-in angle parking is easier than parallel parking and safer than front-in angle parking, including the better visibility it gives drivers as they leave the parking spot. Advantages of back-in angle parking over parallel parking include eliminating the risk of drivers clipping a bicyclist with their door as they leave their vehicle.

Back-in angle parkingSome drivers in the Altoona development are traveling the wrong way down these divided streets – they’re driving British, you might say – in order to pull into the stalls front-first. Parking signage will arrive soon and should improve the situation. The photos in this post show properly parked cars in Altoona.

Here’s an easy step-by-step video, produced for the City of Pensacola, Florida, on how back-in angle parking is done. And here is an Austin, Texas, video that explains the whole safety concept behind it.

Have questions? Contact our Civil + Municipal Engineering division.

Post a comment:


  • Jeffrey Herman says:

    Have you encountered situations that were just not right for back-in parking? We can’t seem to make it work here in Waterford, Pennsylvania. Is it because it’s only two lanes of flowing traffic?

    • Ayres says:

      The main challenge is getting public buy-in, so extensive public information efforts would be a good step to take. You may have a little easier time with that in Pennsylvania because back-in angle parking is more common out East as a way to calm traffic and to squeeze in more parking in very narrow streets in older neighborhoods. The public may be more receptive to back-in angle parking on a multi-lane street since they’re not backing up in the only lane of traffic. But that’s not really any different from the usual discomfort with parallel parking.