Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Back-in Parking Valued in 1920, and Free Bike Repair - Bits

July 8th, 1920
Back in 1920, some "Salem autoists" preferred back-in angle parking as safer.
[A]t present a car while starting is moving in the same direction as are other autos...Drivers of machines traveling along the street will never know when a car is going to back out.
Here is it is on State Street in the early 1920s.

State Street circa 1920-1925: two-way travel,
back-in angle parking, streetcar in the middle
(unknown postcard source - via Strong Towns group)
July 20th, 1920
Photos dated to about 1930 show head-in angle parking, so some time in the decade it changed.

Dissent on Downtown Outdoor Dining and Public Space

A reader passes along what is purported to be a letter from a downtown merchant:
It is my opinion that closing Court, State and High Streets every weekend this summer will have a huge negative financial impact on any retail establishments located on or near those streets at a time when they are already struggling....It is fundamentally unfair to single out any one type of business in favor of all others....Making parking a difficult task for shoppers is not the way to encourage dining out.
We have plentiful free parking in the parkades, but this writer indirectly asserts by implication that free parking should always be available directly in front of their business. They see downtown as principally a drive-to destination like a mall.

As malls and box retail continue to dwindle, this perspective is self-defeating and guarantees the long-term erosion of downtown.

Attracting more people downtown for dining also increases foot traffic. So it's hard to see how more people downtown is a negative for retail. If there is any "negative," it is only for those customers who expect to park immediately in front of a business. (Meters also could help with this, by the way!)

But it is also not surprising that the reallocation of public space for outdoor dining attracts some dissent and is contested, and this will be a debate to follow, as the Pandemic gives us an opportunity to rethink the public space we call a street.

(See previous notes on downtown outdoor dining here and here.)

Free Bike Repair and Local Safe Routes Action

Bike repair at the Thursday Market
in West Salem - via FB
The local Safe Routes to Schools project has a public action! Collaborating with Cherriots and NW Hub they are sponsoring free bike repair (for small things, of course, and if you need a complete tune-up, take it to a bike shop and be sure to give them your business) at the West Salem Farmers Markets on Thursdays through the summer.

A couple months ago they launched a FB page, but it was mainly a placeholder. With the announcement about this bike repair project, they've now got something more substantial.

Going forward with schools, in the context of the Pandemic they will of course have to modify very greatly a SR2S program. There's no template for this and I have no idea what the programming and projects will look like.

Especially if you have school-age kids, check out the page and support them as you are able.

1 comment:

Mike said...

I agree that back in parking is safer than head in. You’re facing the direction that you are exiting so you have a wider field of view without craning your next and turning back and forth. You can see anyone driving or biking behind you as you drive out.

The only precaution would be to add a safety measure to keep a driver from accidentally going on the curb.