King City Mayor Mike LeBarre gets out of his vehicle after demonstrating how to park in the city’s reverse diagonal pilot project on April 27. (Sean Roney/Staff)

KING CITY — New reverse diagonal parking was installed on the south side of Broadway Street, from Third Street to Vanderhurst Avenue, as part of a two-month test project to gauge public interest in the change to public parking.

A demonstration was put on April 27 for the freshly painted lines pointing in a different direction than usual.

The reverse diagonal parking requires drivers to pull forward of the spot and then back in. When exiting, the driver is facing traffic and moves forward to return to driving. This is a shift from driving forward into a parking spot and then backing out into traffic.

The aim, city leaders have said, is safety.

King City Mayor Mike LeBarre was the first to participate in the demonstration, followed by Mayor Pro Tem Carlos Victoria.

King City Mayor Pro Tem Carlos Victoria parks his vehicle in reverse along the new pilot project site on Broadway during a demonstration April 27. (Sean Roney/Staff)

LeBarre said he had no practice with the procedure and his vehicle was slightly off center in the parking spot. He noted backing up is the source of reluctance from most people, and that he would rather back into parking than back into traffic.

“These types of changes, we really have to make sure that we’re meeting the community’s needs,” LeBarre said, inviting the public to try out the new parking stalls and take a survey on the city’s website to submit feedback. (A direct link to the survey can be found here.)

The advantages to the new parking format include: reducing serious collisions by eliminating the need to back out blindly into traffic; cyclists being safer because they can make eye contact with a driver exiting a parking space; doors opening toward the street and blocking children from running into traffic; and an increase to safety when loading or unloading items because the trunk is next to the sidewalk.

City Manager Steve Adams said the concept was proposed to the city for consideration by the Blue Zones Project Monterey County, which is about to expand to King City. The Blue Zones Project is a program transforming communities in Northern America to increase health, longevity and well-being. The objective is to create an environment that supports and facilitates healthier lifestyles.

LeBarre called the reverse parking an example of a built community, one that includes designs for the safety and longevity of residents.

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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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