LA Has Opened Reverse-Only Parking Spaces – And It Has Exposed Drivers Who Can’t Back Up

Angeles, a city often associated with the challenges of parking, is attempting a novel approach to ease the parking conundrum. In the suburban neighborhood of Woodland Hills, located in the San Fernando Valley, traditional parallel parking spots are being replaced with reverse-only diagonal parking spaces.

Nestled in the shadow of the Santa Monica Mountains and north of the Pacific Coast, this bustling sub-city is primarily residential. Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Ventura Blvd are divided by two significant thoroughfares. While Topanga Canyon Blvd primarily serves as a conduit for deliveries to malls and parking lots, Ventura Blvd accommodated businesses with traditional parallel parking—until now.

Last month, the decision was made to convert the parallel parking spots on Ventura Blvd into reverse-only diagonal spaces to increase parking capacity along the busiest stretches of the boulevard. This change had been debated for years in city council meetings and public forums. However, many residents remained unaware that this transformation was imminent, even as the city aimed to rejuvenate Ventura Blvd as a “small town Main Street.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that the transition has posed challenges for drivers. Some motorists found themselves stopping traffic as they attempted to reverse into the new parking spaces, while others resorted to multiple rounds of circling the block before giving up. A local business owner shared their observation with the LA Times, recounting how one confused driver circled the block six times before ultimately abandoning the parking attempt.

On the positive side, the conversion did increase parking capacity from 97 to 121 spots within a relatively confined area. However, residents and business proprietors have largely regarded this change as a source of inconvenience. Drivers have struggled to adapt to the reverse parking concept, often crossing traffic lanes to park head-in, disrupting the flow of a busy street. Some businesses speculate that sales have suffered due to the alteration, while others have noticed no significant impact other than bewildered customers.

Despite the mixed response, the city of Los Angeles has not indicated any intention to revert to the previous parking configuration without substantial opposition. This means that, although confusion abounds among Angelenos currently, they will need to adapt to this unconventional parking scheme in the foreseeable future.

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