Tuesday, Jul 26, 2016
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Rossford plan would add parking spots

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Rossford is considering a plan to change parking from parallel to back-in angle parking on Superior Street between Bacon Street and Glenwood Road for safety reasons and to add spaces.

THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
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Superior Street in downtown Rossford might be getting a new look, along with more parking spaces.

Officials are studying a conceptual plan, drawn up by Rossford’s engineering firm, Mannik and Smith Group, that would convert the current parallel parking on Superior Street to back-in angle parking. Through traffic would be reduced to a single lane on each side to free up space.

The change, which would apply to Superior between Bacon Street and Glenwood Road, would increase the number of parking spaces to an estimated 58 from the current 31.

The switch to angle parking, along with the shortage of parking downtown, has been talked about for years, Mayor Neil MacKinnon said. But because Superior is a state road and not a city street, it was not thought to be feasible.

However, Mannik and Smith, after consulting with the Ohio Department of Transportation as a first step in exploring the idea, learned that nothing would prohibit the change.

“We’‍re going to order more detailed plans,” Mayor MacKinnon said. “It’s still in the study stage, but we’‍re looking at it with an eye toward implementation. It almost doubles the parking space we have now. I think most successful main streets in the country have angle parking.”

The plan recommends “back-in” angle parking for safety reasons.

“This safety issue is primarily due to the reversing out of the angle parking where the driver has a very large blind spot of oncoming traffic and bicycles on the through street, which places the parked vehicle at the mercy of oncoming motorists to see them and stop to avoid hitting them,” the Mannik and Smith concept states, adding that back-in angle parking “is becoming much more accepted around the United States.”

The new parking configuration would have room for a bike lane and enhance mid-block pedestrian safety by reducing the number of traffic lanes to be crossed.

Other safety benefits would be better visibility than drivers have in parallel or conventional angle parking. People would load or unload a vehicle’s trunk from the sidewalk instead of the street, and vehicle doors would open toward the sidewalk instead of the street.

Mayor MacKinnon said the parking reconfiguration would dovetail nicely with a larger strategy of improving the downtown area.

Contact Carl Ryan at: carlryan@theblade.com or 419-724-6095.

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