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New options for downtown parking

City to test back-in angle stalls

By Angie Landsverk

Waupaca will introduce back-in angle parking on the north side of East Union Street.

On Monday, Aug. 15, the city plans to mark the stalls between Main and Jefferson streets for that type of parking, said Director of Public Works Justin Berrens.

The Waupaca Common Council approved the pilot program during its Aug. 2 meeting.

Information about this type of parking, as well as a survey, will be on the city’s website.

Berrens said feedback from the public will be useful as the city moves forward with the planning and design of Main Street.

As the city plans for the future reconstruction of Main Street, back-in angle parking is among the options which have been brought forward, Berrens told the council.

“Obviously, it’s a new concept here,” he said. “Throughout the country, it’s gaining traction.”

He said the Wisconsin Department of Transportation favors back-in angle parking over the current front-in angle parking on Waupaca’s downtown streets.

That is because people are backing their vehicles into empty parking stalls instead of into live lanes of traffic.

With this type of parking, a motorist drives past the stall in which he wants to park.

The motorist turns on the vehicle’s blinker to signal where he is parking and stops before backing into the parking stall.

A number of downtown business owners want angle parking to remain on the streets.

Berrens says back-in angle parking might be a viable option versus parallel parking.

The DOT favors parallel parking over angle parking for safety reasons.

Berrens said with back-in angle parking, people have a better view when they are leaving the parking stall.

“I thought this would be a way to try it,” he said of the pilot program beginning.

People will have time to try it, and city officials will be able to watch since the trial parking will take place right next to city hall, Berrens said.

He also told the council the city of Neenah started a trial program this summer with the same type of parking.

While there was initially pushback from the public, feedback has since been positive, Berrens said.

During Waupaca’s pilot program, city officials will see how well the idea is received here, he said.

Berrens does not have an end date for the pilot program and said it will be periodically reassessed.

“If this pilot does not get much support, then the stalls may return to front-in next spring,” he said.

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