A reverse-angle remedy for Canton?

Written by on September 19, 2012 in Featured, Neighborhood News - No comments

Reverse-angle parking is scheduled to be implemented in the 900-1200 blocks of Clinton St. within the next two weeks, and the 2900-3500 blocks of Elliott St. within the next two to eight weeks, according to staff at First District Councilman Jim Kraft’s office.

The reverse-angle parking is part of the Southeast Complete Streets program, which has been in development for three years. But will reverse-angle parking on these streets reduce the parking problems in Canton?

The answer from those who live and work in Canton is a qualified yes—but reverse-angle is only part of a solution to long-term problem.

“Reverse-angle parking will improve quality of life,” says Debbie Meister, who lives near the intersection of Potomac and Pratt streets and works as an agent at Long & Foster in the Can Company.

Meister says that parking behind the Can Company is predominately two-hour permit parking; she—and everyone else—has a hard time parking on Boston St. She believes that reverse-angle parking, no matter where in Canton its located, would be beneficial to everyone in the long run.

“It’s really a matter of working with what you’ve got. I know it’s been great for my neighborhood,” says Meister.

Darryl Jurkiewicz, president of the Canton Community Association, agrees, but emphasizes that how the reverse-angle parking is implemented will make all the difference.

“We’ll get the most new spaces if it’s implemented on long, uninterrupted blocks [without driveways or curb cuts or alleys],” says Jurkiewicz. “For example, within the past year, reverse-angle was installed in the 3200 block of Toone St., and I believe we got 50-percent more spaces as a result.”

Jurkiewicz adds that one challenge, albeit minor, that comes with reverse-angle parking is that some people find it aesthetically unattractive.

“They think it doesn’t look good, “ he says. “I don’t get it.  Parking is parking.”

He notes that reverse-angle is only one solution to Canton’s and the Southeast’s pervasive parking problems. Another is more public transportation options in Canton, so fewer people will have to use their cars in the first place, especially for short trips.

“We’ve been working on getting a Charm City Circulator route in Canton for a while now, but it’s all about funding,” Jurkiewicz says.

Another solution is simply Canton building more parking, “but the city says it doesn’t own any land in the area that is not park land—and they can’t afford to build a structure. At least that’s what they tell us, anyway,” says Jurkiewicz.

“And we’re sure not giving up green space for parking,” he adds.

Councilman Kraft is scheduled to give an update on reverse-angle parking in Canton at the next public Canton Community Association meeting on Sept. 25 at United Evangelical Church, 3200 Dillon St., at the corner of S. East Ave., beginning at 7:00 p.m.

The doors open at 6:30 p.m.

by Danielle Sweeney

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