King City has approved the temporary installation of reverse diagonal parking along a portion of Broadway Street as part of a pilot program. (Sean Roney/Staff)

KING CITY — King City councilmembers approved the temporary installation of reverse diagonal parking along a portion of Broadway Street during the council’s March 23 meeting.

The area of Broadway between Third and Vanderhurst streets will be repainted with new parking spots that will appear to be in reverse. Rather than heading into the spots, motorists will instead back into them, meaning they will move forward and not in reverse to leave their stall.

Work on preparing the test block could begin as early as April 20.

The pilot program is planned to last from four to six weeks, during which the city will accept community feedback as to whether all of Broadway Street should be considered for reverse diagonal parking.

City Manager Steve Adams said the decision was prompted by safety improvements possible with the changes in parking. By pointing outward as they leave, motorists will be able to see oncoming cars or bicycles, rather than backing into them with reduced ability to see as in traditional diagonal parking methods.

The angle of parking also means child passengers are shielded from oncoming cars and loading becomes easier since the back of a vehicle is pointed at the sidewalk.

“A number of cities around the country have converted their parking to reverse diagonal,” Adams said.

He cited Hollister, which converted a main street to reverse diagonal but also maintained traditional parking on side streets to allow motorists to have an option for parking.

“According to their staff, they did receive a number of complaints, but the majority of people like it,” Adams said about his visit to Hollister and talks with its city employees.

The reasoning behind the pilot program’s timing, Adams said, came down to the city planning to repave Broadway. If the public rejects the program, the resurfacing will restore that block. If the program is accepted, the entire street can be changed to match.

Adams said the pilot project would begin in April “as soon as we can install the signage, grind out the existing striping and install new striping.” He added, “Meanwhile, we would do a comprehensive information campaign to educate the community. A survey would also be provided on the city’s website.”

While city staff considers the project to have “a lot of merit,” Adams said staff is concerned about public reaction.

“This seemed like a good approach where we can test it out and if it really doesn’t go well, we’re going to be paving the street and re-striping anyway, so it won’t be a problem putting it back,” he said. “It will be interesting to give it a try and see how it goes.”

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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