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Parking change will add spaces in Union Square

Posted by Marcia Dick  March 21, 2012 10:04 AM

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In the constant battle to squelch congestion and ease parking shortages in Somerville, sometimes backing up is the only way forward.

Trifold Handout_Back-in Parking-1.jpgThat's the idea behind a pilot program on Bow Street in traffic-riddled Union Square, where traditional end-to-end spaces will be replaced with angled, back-in style parking. The change begins in May and when completed, will add 22 spaces, nearly double the number available before, the city said in a statement.

Traffic and Parking Director Matthew Dias said the reconfigured layout is safer for drivers, who need not parallel park, and also for bicyclists, who will be more visible to drivers coming and going.

"This change is also a big help to decreasing conflicts between vehicles and cyclists, since vehicle doors no longer open directly into bike lanes," Dias said.

Businesses will be notified of the change in the coming weeks, before public meetings planned for April. "We expect a lot of questions," Dias said. "But once folks understand that this means more parking spaces, added convenience, and enhanced safety, I think they'll be excited about experimenting with this new parking configuration."


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