HAVERHILL — The city claims it will be as easy as 1-2-3 and that all you have to do is signal, stop, then reverse. But only time will tell if a change in the style of parking along Bailey Boulevard will be a good thing or result in as-of-yet unknown headaches.
As of tomorrow, drivers who park their vehicles along the north side of Bailey Boulevard will have more spaces to choose from and parking will still be free. But, instead of parallel parking, drivers will have to back into their spot, and at an angle to the roadway. Reverse angle parking, the first of its kind in the area, is coming to Haverhill. Mobile digital display screens set up along Bailey Boulevard have been informing drivers that the new plan goes into effect.
Public Works Director Michael Stankovich said it won’t be that much different from the current parallel parking method, which requires you to swing the front of your vehicle into the roadway before settling into a spot. And when it’s time to pull out, you have to turn your head quite a bit to see who’s coming.
“It’s really almost the same angle as parallel parking,” Stankovich said. “The big difference is when you pull out you’ll have a clear view of the road.”
Stankovich said “reverse angle” is considered a safer way to diagonal park by traffic experts. He said he recently visited Somerville to review reverse angle diagonal parking areas there.
Although it may be obvious to drivers as to how to back into a parking space, the city will have a “parking ambassador” there next week to answer questions.
The ambassador will also be distributing pamphlets - which are available at City Hall - showing diagrams of how to park.
“Since most of the people who park here are repeat customers we’ll be leaving informational fliers on their vehicles,” Stankovich said.