#13 Story
Reverse Angle Parking Off to Shaky Start

(Wave photo)

(Wave photo)

reverse angleCAPE CHARLES WAVE

May 18, 2015

According to the diagram above, Cape Charles’s new “reverse angle parking” on Mason Avenue is supposed to be a three-step process: Signal, Stop, Reverse. But the white Audi station wagon above didn’t get that memo, and made a wide turn to pull in front-ways.

The bicycle with trailer next to the Audi did a better job, smartly facing outward. But since when are bicycles allowed to occupy a full parking space? Since reverse-angle parking came to town, apparently.

Next to the bike we see a golf cart, also properly positioned — although it looks to be crowding the white line. Golf carts rarely travel in reverse, so the driver probably lacked experience.


Last week the Wave reported a town official as proclaiming that cars are supposed to, but not required to, back into the parking spots. But a parker who works on Mason Avenue complained in the Wave’s ANONYMOUS column that one of Cape Charles’s finest didn’t read that story, and told him he had to reverse park (no ticket issued).

Meanwhile, one of the Watson brothers is reported to have said that customers entering their hardware store are supposed to, but not required to, walk backwards into the store — making it easier to find their way out.



26 Responses to “#13 Story
Reverse Angle Parking Off to Shaky Start”

  1. Steve Downs on May 18th, 2015 4:42 am

    A bad idea gets a bad reaction. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  2. Don Appenzeller on May 18th, 2015 8:21 am

    Some one had to stay up late at night to figure out a way to make parking on Mason harder than parallel parking. Let’s just hope it doesn’t spread to the beach front.

  3. Wayne Creed on May 18th, 2015 8:27 am

    To clarify, although the Commonwealth does not require backing in, it also leaves local parking issues up to localities, so the Town can require drivers to back into the reverse angle spaces. Also, reverse angle parking is the preferred method of parking in municipalities where space is limited, but also where drivers may have to exit their vehicles into moving traffic. The Town’s implementation of reverse angle parking is consistent with VDOT, as well as with other municipalities such as Arlington, VA.

  4. Mike Kuzma on May 18th, 2015 11:19 am

    Well, if it works in Arlington and Richmond, well then — no difference at all between those three towns. How about we just defer all decisions to some bureaucrat waaaaaaayyyyy far away? Beats thinking for ourselves I guess.

  5. Janet Dudley on May 18th, 2015 12:02 pm

    Can I just say everyone has an opinion and I am so glad that we have the right to express it, but really guys, just pull up your big boy or girl pants and deal with it. So you have to back in instead of pulling in, what is the big deal? A parking space is a parking space — be glad you can find one close to where you want to be!

  6. Wayne Creed on May 18th, 2015 1:13 pm

    Although the scales may be different, the parking issues facing Arlington and Cape Charles are the same: limited space available for parking. This Saturday, the Palace Theatre held two big events, one in the morning, one in the evening. The additional spaces created by reverse angle parking helped accommodate both events, especially given that the overflow parking across the street is not available due to the Strawberry Street Corridor project.

    As far as backing in, Planning Commissioner Andy Buchholz gave me some good advice: “Just tilt both side view mirrors down so that the white parking lines are visible in both, and then slowly back in, checking the mirrors to be sure your car is staying between them.”

  7. Janis King on May 18th, 2015 3:05 pm

    Whose bright idea was this? Angle parking is a great idea, you fit more cars. However, you angled it in the WRONG direction. Cape Charles has made something easy, difficult. I won’t go as far to say no place else has this, but I have traveled a great deal and I’ve never seen it. The easiest solution is just repaint the lines slanted in the opposite direction. It is okay to admit you made a mistake.

  8. Vicky Dennis on May 18th, 2015 3:20 pm

    Angle parking is a good idea, but you angled it in the WRONG direction!

  9. Etta Pruitt on May 18th, 2015 4:37 pm

    Thanks, Janet Dudley, for the voice of reason!

  10. Mike Mullner on May 18th, 2015 9:25 pm

    Seems like every time I check the Wave it’s always something negative. Let’s just park — there is nothing difficult about it and if you can’t you should not have a drivers license.

  11. George Ferguson on May 18th, 2015 9:43 pm

    I have to admit that the older I get the harder it is to back up. Change the angle and pull in. I just hope we don’t see parking meters next.

  12. Mike Kuzma on May 19th, 2015 7:00 am

    Well, thank goodness that NO ONE ever loads up a vehicle with beach\vacation stuff obstructing the rear view, or that using the rear view is the least clear vision in a vehicle, or that our seasoned citizens may not be paying attention to that out of town kid who just jumped into that spot. I mean GOVERNMENT said it was good and that is enough!
    As for Janet, do you not realize the function of the COMMENT section of a news article?
    It is meant for discussion. Ergo, complaints.

  13. Angela Robinson on May 19th, 2015 9:23 am

    It’s not the wrong direction if you have to back in. Also the signs clearly say back in angle parking. But someone always wants to complain. JUST PARK AND BE HAPPY IT’S FREE!

  14. Jack Demamp on May 19th, 2015 11:56 am

    George: If you pull in, you still have to back out (and back out into oncoming traffic). You yourself said as you age it is harder for you to back up; I would think you would rather not be backing into traffic.

    Vicky and Janis: why would Cape Charles want to abandon a parking method that has been proven to be more safe than angled head-in parking? Why do you want to put the good people of Cape Charles in danger?

    Janet, Mike Mullner, Wayne, and Angela: You guys seem to get it. Congrats, who woulda thunk that such an easy thing would be so difficult. Again, I will suggest if you can’t back in to an angled parking space (easier than parallel parking), there is a DMV office in Cheriton that will gladly accept your drivers license when you turn it in.

  15. Scott Walker Jr. on May 19th, 2015 12:18 pm

    Back-In means the Driver must watch BOTH sides plus rear
    Back-In makes it tougher for Driver to gauge distance to curb
    Back-In produces exhaust fumes to spew onto sidewalk, trees and humans.
    Back-In produces less nighttime lighting from brake lights than headlights.
    Back-In blows another blast of CO when driver revs up the engine to depart.
    Back-In presents approaching drivers with less visibility of a vacant space.

    Better to have Pull In – Back Out. Switch the parking lanes!
    Cape Charlies & Visitors are more attuned to this method.

    Happy Parking!

  16. Joseph Corcoran on May 19th, 2015 12:25 pm

    With golf carts and bicycle traffic increasing this makes sense in Cape Charles too.


  17. Stephen K. Fox on May 19th, 2015 12:58 pm

    It seems that the flow of traffic into the Town is largely from the east. Couldn’t the Town have achieved the same objective by drive in parking angled the other way? This configuration seems very cumbersome, and calculated to cause a lot of delay in traffic movement. Time will tell, but it does seem very awkward.

  18. David Gay on May 19th, 2015 1:52 pm

    I like the new angled parking, have been using it for almost a week, and have had no problems. Great job!

  19. Bill Stramm on May 19th, 2015 6:51 pm

    The main reason the Planning Commission recommended reverse angle parking was two fold. First, and most importantly was to create additional parking spaces. Secondly, reverse angle was selected because VDOT disapproved the town’s request for angled parking due to safety reasons.

  20. Scott Walker Jr on May 22nd, 2015 6:00 pm

    More on the current backwards parking:
    Nose-In gives an east-bound driver the option to do a 180 and nose in;
    Nose-In offers a quick parking effort for the driver in a (frequent) hurry;
    Nose-In makes it easier to “center” the vehicle between the white lines;
    Nose-In facilitates the driver’s tendency to sight back down the road for clearance;
    Rack ‘em up, stack em up!

  21. Dick Shannonhouse on May 23rd, 2015 11:44 am

    I like the comment by one of the Watson brothers, that customers in their store are supposed to but not required to walk into the store backwards. Next time on the shore I will definitely walk into their store backwards. Godspeed – Dick

  22. Linda Downs on May 25th, 2015 12:02 pm

    I always thought one had to “break a law” in order to receive a ticket. I don’t think these parking tickets would stand up in court, given the basis is just a sign. I was raised to obey the law, but where’s the law governing this parking decision? I have personally observed people who in their attempts to back in have not gone back far enough and their cars extend unsafely too far; cars which are too far over one way or the other which will result in dents and scratches to their parking neighbors (particularly as children try to exit their passenger seats); and, delays in traffic flow as folks pull forward and then back up, leaving a line of incoming traffic in the wait. Are you going to “hand out” parking instructions on RT. 13 to visitors as they approach town? Cape Charles wants visitors, but you’d ticket them when they arrive. How friendly is that?

  23. Scott Walker Jr on May 25th, 2015 1:03 pm

    More on Backwards Parking

    With a town like Cape Charles, obsessed with historical accuracy,
    the back-in first method does not comport with the earlier postcard
    showing “traditional” nose-in parking circa 1930s.

    The current lanes tend to generate an uneasy karma. Flip em, folks!

  24. Ken and Mary Dufty on May 25th, 2015 1:12 pm

    We have had the pleasure of traveling far and wide to supply our antique/clock shop in Exmore, and our sources include friends and business associates in 9 states. Often we travel to Portland Maine to purchase exciting merch that our friend imports from Nepal and Indonesia. On Front Street visitors are neatly directed to angle park, and we have become fans of that parking scheme. But there, as it is in Concord, New Hampshire and parts of Burlington, Vermont, the directional lines are drawn so that visitors pull in, nose first,,,making the experience easy and safer. As for backing out, we and others simply slide into reverse, ease out, and folks (many who want OUR parking space) yield accordingly. In Cape Charles, it might well serve your many patrons to repaint those space dividers so they face the right way. The current angle is about the least tourist-friendly scheme we have seen in any of our travels. Just sayin…..

  25. Scott Walker Jr on May 25th, 2015 5:42 pm

    Re; WrongAngled Parking
    HooooYaaaa Duffy’s.
    Let’s have a plebecite on the issue…
    Let’s get Historical,not Hysterical…!
    JJ…NY, where are you when we need backup?

  26. Dana Lascu on May 25th, 2015 10:56 pm

    Maybe reverse angled parking is not completely ass-backwards. Research indicates that head-in parking produces three times more accidents. We’ll give it a try, won’t we?! It was a fifty-fifty split early this afternoon, with half of the vehicles conforming, half not conforming. And some sticking out way too far into the street.