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Queens Chronicle

New parking rules say to back it in

DOT cites safety reasons as drivers can’t go nose-first on select streets

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Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2019 10:30 am

Thomas Phillips was pulling into a spot one day near Cabana’s Restaurant on 70th Road — the block known as Restaurant Row to area residents.

He parked headfirst and went to get his payment ticket to put on his dashboard when a man came up and told him, “You can’t park like that because they are ticketing like crazy.”

The man explained the new standard is back-in parking and pointed out a meter agent who was patrolling the block.

Last month, the Department of Transportation made changes to 70th, 71st and 72nd roads in Forest Hills between Austin Street and Queens Boulevard. Work was completed with new signs and revisions to markings, an agency spokesperson told the Chronicle in an email Tuesday.

“Back-in angled parking is now the DOT standard, as it is widely considered as safer for drivers and others around them,” the spokesperson said. “By backing in, drivers avoid backing out blindly into oncoming traffic or into the path of pedestrians.”

The DOT said existing nose-in parking is being replaced with the new standard when it is feasible to make the change.

The agency considers front-in parking more hazardous for several reasons, such as a driver ending up closer to the curb so that he or she needs to pull out farther to see approaching vehicles; loading and unloading from a truck or hatch is happening in the street instead of at curbside; and backing up occurs when the person driving has the least visibility possible.

Phillips, who said he finds the change “weird and unnecessary,” returned days later to other side blocks connecting Austin Street and Queens Boulevard.

And three separate times, the same thing happened to him.

“Impatient drivers behind me honking because I needed them to back up so I could back in a space,” Phillips said.

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  • 204th Street Jack posted at 4:05 pm on Thu, Nov 7, 2019.

    204th Street Jack Posts: 23

    Will the parking stripes be repainted slanted in the opposite direction to aid in maneuvering into and out of those places as it looks like one would have to back in from the opposite side of the street crossing moving traffic in the process to park in one move?

  • Eugene posted at 5:25 pm on Thu, Oct 31, 2019.

    Eugene Posts: 46

    I would be interested in seeing ANY evidence the the NYC DOT is interested in keeping cars moving. All of the evidence that I am aware of indicates that their intest is in preventing cars from moving.