EUGENE, Ore. - Construction on 13th Avenue near the University of Oregon is now finished, but there’s a brand new parking layout.
It’s called “back-end diagonal parking” or “reverse-angle parking,” and it’s the first of its kind in Eugene. This means drivers have to pull forward and then back up into a parking spot.
Thirteenth Avenue is a one-way street, so it’s causing a bit of confusion for drivers.
“I’m awful at backing up, so it took me like three or four tries to get in here straight,” said driver Alichelen Morrison.
Driver Katie Sinner expressed similar frustrations. “I think it’s a little strange how you have to pull all the way up and you’re supposed to go that way but you’re expected to back in,” said Sinner. “I don’t know about other people but I’m not the best at backing into spaces.”
It’s not only difficult for drivers who are parking but also for drivers in the cars waiting behind them.
“The other people behind me didn't understand that I was going to back up,” said Stephen McCormick. “This guy here had trouble getting around me.”
Officer Randy Ellis with the Eugene Police Department saw it all as he watched drivers pull in and out of parking spaces all day. He said some drivers were confused with the new system.
“Well, people have come in and made u-turns and then come in frontways instead of figuring out they're supposed to back in,” said Ellis.
He also noticed one potential problem. “People are pulling clearly into the bike lane across the street to get in which will probably pose some sort of a problem.”
With this new layout on 13th avenue, only one side of the street has parking. The other side is for a bicycle lane.
Eugene Public Works said reverse angle parking is more efficient than parallel parking. They said it increases the safety for cyclists and pedestrians because drivers have a much better view of the street when they leave their parking spot.
Cities including Seattle, Portland, Salem and Pendleton have already implemented reverse parking on some of their streets. Thirteenth Avenue is the first street in Eugene with this type of parking.
Some people are happy with the new reverse-angle parking, including Rick Dunaven who runs a special bike company in this area. “It’s safer, it’s much simpler to back in to park. It’s easier to get out because you’re only looking in one direction,” he said.