By Mike Cook
Las Cruces Bulletin
LAS CRUCES – The City of Las Cruces’ new downtown back-in angle parking is a simple and easy three-step process. Plus, it saves space and it’s safer.
“It’s just like parallel parking, but you don’t have to straighten it out,” said city Economic Development Administrator Mandy Guss.
Back-in parking is now in effect on Church and Water streets from Griggs Avenue south to Las Cruces Avenue, said city Economic Development Specialist Armando Morales. It will be extended further north on both streets to near the roundabout at the north end of downtown when the city completes the two-way conversion of Church and Water in mid-June, Guss said.
A major reason for back-in parking is that it saves space, an increasingly important issue as more businesses move downtown and traffic increases. Back-in parking spaces take up 10-12 feet each, while parallel-parking spaces take about 20 feet each, city Public Works Director David Maestas said.
Back-in angle parking also means a car’s trunk or a truck’s bed is at the sidewalk, which will make loading and unloaded safer and easier, Maestas said. And, it means vehicle doors will be open to the sidewalk side of the street as well, shielding drivers and passengers from oncoming traffic.
Back-in parking spaces are clearly defined by green and white signs all along Church and Water streets. The signs even show the three-step process of signal, stop, reverse for back-in angle parking.
Front-end parking will not be allowed in designated back-in parking areas, Guss said, but there will be some parallel-parking spaces. Drivers who front-end park in spaces designed for back-in parking will receive a warning flyer from Las Cruces Police Department Codes Enforcement officers during a brief grace period, Guss said. Eventually, tickets will be issued and fines levied for those who park the wrong way.
Mike Cook may be contacted at email@example.com.