St. Pete prepares to test back-in angle parking

St. Petersburg officials said the impending removal of PSTA buses from downtown St. Petersburg's Williams Park creates space to test out reverse angle parking. 

Here's how the new parking would work: Instead of backing out of an angled parking space, a motorist backs in. Whey they are ready to leave, he or she pulls out facing forward. 

"When you're leaving, that's the big benefit, because the drivers can look over to the left and see if there's anybody in that traffic lane or not," Transportation Director Evan Mory explained Monday. 

PSTA used the park as a bus hub for decades, but will stop February 14. Mory said the city was looking for a place to try back-in parking, and with Williams Park becoming a "blank slate," it was an obvious choice.   

The location ideal also because 2nd Avenue North along the park is not a busy street. Also, there are no businesses or sidewalks along the road, so complaints about tailpipe exhaust from idling motors should be minimal. 

"We'll see how it goes and we'll be monitoring that," Mory said. "As long as it goes as well as we think it will, we'll be looking for other places to install it in the future."

Back-in angle parking is already seen in more than a dozen American cities, but FOX 13 News asked motorists Monday and most were unfamiliar with it. 

"Well, that's going to cause an uproar," Kai Warren predicted.

While Tommy Dixon wondered, "that's going to cause a problem ain't it?" 

However, after giving the matter some thought, both drivers mellowed to the idea. 

"Ain't no harm in trying something new in the city," Dixon said.

"These kind of things always just require a little getting used to," Warren admitted. "It might work out just fine, but it sounds awfully odd."

Mory said the back-in angled spaces should be striped and marked with signage shortly after the PSTA buses leave.