Wis. city mandates drivers back into parking spaces

The people of Altoona, Wis., near Eau Claire, have about had it with the challenge of parking in the city.

It’s not that they can’t find spaces, it’s that they’re required to back into them, the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reported Tuesday.

It’s been two years since the city mandated drivers back into the on-street angled parking spaces in the city’s River Prairie development. The city cited designs that show that cars pulling out of parking spots facing traffic are safer than those who back out.

“While your car’s butt is sticking out into traffic, you can’t see if there are cars coming, because your view is blocked by the passenger compartments of the cars or SUVs parked next to you,” no less an authority than Ray Magliozzi of “Car Talk” says.

But cars have cameras now and one barely has to turn and look anymore. And people don’t like it anyway. Backing in? That’s not normal. People like normal.

Too bad, the city planner says. Studies show back-in parking is safer and if drivers don’t like it, they can go find another space.

Back-in parking “was worth a try,” the city’s police chief said. “But now I’m worried about safety if we keep (back-in parking).”

Why? Because people are driving the wrong way to park their cars front-in.

People will always find a way to keep doing what they want to do.

The Altoona City Council may decide the future of the policy on Thursday.

Related: It’s much safer to back into parking spaces. Why don’t we do it? (Vox)