A snit over back-in parking | VailDaily.com
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A snit over back-in parking

Bobby Magill & Dennis Webb
Kara K. Pearson/Post Independent Back-in angle parking on Cooper Avenue is labeled with signs, new street lines and orange caution tape in Glenwood.
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS Judy Douglass of Silt backed her car into a reverse-angle parking space on 700 block of Cooper Avenue.I have no idea how youre supposed to do it, but it looks like I made it between the white lines, she said as she stood by her car, examining her parking job.Asked whether she thought backing into the streets new parking spaces was too difficult, she said, No. Just a little unnerving. A few feet away, inside the Artists Mercantile, shop owner Maria Sippola said she had her own frustrating experience recently trying to back into a nearby parking space.I actually had somebody try to get into the parking (space) while I was trying to back in from the other lane, she said. They were upset because they thought they were supposed to have the spot.A temporary barrier was erected in the middle of the street to prevent southbound drivers from pulling nose-first into the spaces.Back-in parking was intended to replace parallel parking, and therefore, create more spaces. On Cooper Avenue, it replaced diagonal parking, meaning no gain in spaces. In fact, merchants say, there are fewer spaces now because there are lane markings, whereas before more vehicles could squeeze in.

Kris Chadwick was a big supporter of back-in parking. Now, the City Council member has seen enough of the pilot project to decide the concept just isnt right for Glenwood.I think it was a great experiment … but I just dont think its working out very well for our town, she said.Chadwicks conclusion was encouraging to Joe Ruden, co-owner of the Good Health Store on Cooper, and one of many business owners on the street to rail against the back-in parking. He has been furious at city officials over their decision to implement the project.Theyre just hurting downtown business. Its just crazy; theres no reason for it, he said.If parking there is still too confusing, dont be alarmed when Glenwood Police place a friendly note on your windshield. Expect police to hand out warnings for the next few months if you park the wrong way.Jackie Hill, of Denver, said even a congested city like Boston has better parking than Cooper Avenue.Its not difficult, she said after angling her car into a parking space. Just kind of confusing. I think it would stink if you were a business.And stink it does, say nearby business owners.Theyre angry, Ruden said of his customers. They think its the dumbest thing theyve ever seen.The older people are really complaining because the older people really have problems looking over their shoulders.Ruden and Rachael Windh, owner of For You Shoppe, are collecting signatures from businesses and customers opposed to the back-in parking. I wont even attempt it. I refuse, I just drive right in, head-first, she said.Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado


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