Head-Out Angle Parking

A Safer Way to Park

What is Head-Out Angle Parking?

Head-Out (or Reverse) Angle Parking is a safer type of angled parking that the City is currently proposing as a Pilot Project on West Park Street. Instead of pulling into a parking space and having to back out blindly into moving traffic, drivers back into the parking spot allowing them to make eye contact with oncoming traffic when exiting the parking space.

What are benefits of Head-Out Angle Parking?

  • Improved visibility and increased field of vision. When leaving a parking space, drivers have an unobstructed view of oncoming traffic.
  • Decreased number of collisions. Drivers no longer back out blindly into moving traffic from the parking space.

  • Improved Safety.
    • For children: Car doors open in a manner that directs children toward the curb and away from moving traffic.
    • For cyclists: As vehicles exit the parking space, they are better able to see approaching cyclists in the roadway.

  • Improved loading/unloading. Trunks are adjacent to the sidewalk and open doors offer protection from the street to allow loading and unloading to occur outside of the traveled roadway.

More Safety Benefits:

  • Improved handicap parking. Handicap parking spaces can be placed adjacent to curb ramps unlike parallel spaces.

  • Traffic Calming. The Pedestrian and Bicyclist Advisory Committee advocates for slower vehicle speeds in the downtown areas to improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists in the area. 

What are some potential downsides?

  • Unfamiliarity. Some drivers are not comfortable backing into a parking space and may also avoid parallel parking. The Head-Out Angle spaces will be wider than typical parking spaces during the Pilot Project to ease unfamiliarity. Give it a try!

  • Vehicles overhanging the sidewalk. This can be alleviated with proper design and placement.

  • Vehicle exhaust over sidewalks. This can be eliminated by implementation of an anti-idling policy.

  • Vehicles entering spaces head-in from the opposite side of the street. This can be alleviated with proper signage, enforcement, and driver awareness.

  • Potential congestion. As with parallel parking, backing into parking spaces may cause minor delays during heavy traffic periods.
The City is proposing to test Head-Out Angle Parking as a Pilot Project on West Park Street in an area segregated from adjacent moving traffic.

The City will monitor the results of the Pilot Project and, if deemed to be successful, would evaluate any other potential locations on a case-by-case basis to ensure they are appropriate for Head-Out Angle Parking.

How does Head-Out Angle Parking work?

Head-Out Angle Parking is just like parallel parking, except it’s easier (it’s actually just the first maneuver of parallel parking):
  1. Signal a right turn to alert other drivers;
  2. Pull past the parking space and stop;
  3. Reverse into the parking space.
These simple steps are illustrated below:

Is this really safer than standard angle parking?

Yes!. Tucson, Arizona reported an average of 3-4 bike/car crashes per month before Head-Out Angle Parking was implemented and no crashes in the 4 years following installation of Head-Out spaces.

A 2004 Study from Salt Lake City, Utah states: “one of the most common causes of accidents is people backing out of standard angled parking without being able to see oncoming traffic. [Head-Out] angled parking removes this difficulty.”

Overall, Head-Out Angle Parking improves the safety of bicyclists and drivers by increasing visibility, and makes accessing your car easier and safer.

Where else is Head-Out Angle Parking being used?

  • Arlington, VA
  • Bethlehem, PA
  • Chico, CA
  • Honolulu, HI
  • Missoula, MT
  • Montreal, QC
  • Olympia, WA
  • Portland, OR
  • Salem, OR
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Somerville, MA
  • Tacoma, WA
  • Vancouver, WA
  • Austin, TX
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Mobile, AL
  • New York, NY
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Pottstown, PA
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Seattle, WA
  • Syracuse, NY
  • Tucson, AZ
  • Washington, DC
  • Wilmington, DE (in use for almost 60 years!)

We Value Your Input

Andrew Gast-Bray,
Director of Planning & Zoning

David Brooks,
Senior Planner

City of Lebanon Planning Department
51 North Park Street
Lebanon, NH 03766
Ph: 603-448-1457
Fax: 603-442-6141