City flips on back-in parking

Bike-friendly parking to be installed elsewhere

parking space
The 100 South side of the Center Street Ball Fields could be used for back-in parking that would not be as controversial as plans to do so elsewhere. Photo by Doug McMurdo

Responding to what Moab City Council Member Mike Duncan described as overwhelmingly negative comments about back-in parking, elected officials instructed city staff Tuesday, Feb. 11 to stripe over back-in parking on West 100 South to revert it back to pull-in parking.

In the same breath, council members also expressed a desire to install back-in parking elsewhere in the city, where they hoped it would be less controversial. In particular, council member Tawny Knuteson-Boyd said she hoped to see back-in parking installed next to the Center Street Ball Fields on 100 South and the Moab Arts and Recreation Center on 100 North.

The back-in parking on 100 South, which council members called an “experiment” in that specific location, is used in other municipalities to protect bicyclists and reduce vehicle collisions. Council members, including Karen Guzman-Newton and Rani Derasary, said that 100 South is not a particularly popular location for bicycles to be on the road, next to the parking, and that the frustration the parking was creating for nearby businesses was not worth the trouble.

The council unanimously expressed to City Engineer Chuck Williams that they wished to see the back-in parking on 100 South reverted. Mayor Emily Niehaus suggested that the two parking spots that would be closest to the intersection be removed in the process, so that vehicles parking in the spots are not forced to back up nearly into the intersection to leave.