Angled Parking

Angled parking is on-street parking in which the vehicle has it's front closest to the curb. Angled parking uses less linear curb length per parking space than traditional parallel parking so more spaces can be provided on the same block. In addition, angled parking acts as a traffic calming device because a passing driver is aware that a parked vehicle could back into the roadway at any moment. For the same reason, bicyclists who are not "taking the lane", and are riding close to parked vehicles are very wary of angled parking.

Main Street Applications

Angled parking has been applied strategically in traditional neighborhood retail collector streets ("Main Streets"), precisely because it both increases the parking supply and slows down traffic. Slower traffic speeds allow drivers to widen their field of vision and thus to become more aware of retail stores or services.

Bicycle-Friendly: Back-In Angled Parking

2.jpgA more bicycle-friendly arrangement is back-in/head-out angled parking, a.k.a. reverse-angle or reverse diagonal parking, in which the driver backs into the space. This form has many advantages[1]:
  • When exiting, the driver is closer to the travel lane and facing forward, thus providing him or her greater visibility when entering traffic.
  • Drivers loading goods into the trunk of the vehicle can do so at the curb side, rather than in the street or parking lot travel lane, thus reducing their risk exposure.
  • Children exiting or entering the car are guided into the car when the door is opened, rather than blocked from the sidewalk.
  • The driver of a parked vehicle can make eye contact with anyone in the street, including other drivers, bicyclists, skateboarders, or pedestrians.

The City of Tucson found that after converting front-in angle parking with back-in angle parking, bicycle collisions with vehicles leaving their parking spaces fell from 3-4 per year to zero, after four years.[3]
A sampling of cities that have installed back-in angled parking includes: Seattle (city-wide), Tacoma, Olympia, and Vancouver in Washington; Portland and Salem in Oregon; Tucson, Arizona; Austin, Texas; Salt Lake City; Indianapolis; Washington, D.C.; Pottstown, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Montreal, Canada.[3]

See other Bikeway Design Solutions

Parking Space Dimensions

The recommended linear curb face required for an angled parking space drawn at a 60 degree angle is 12.4"[2]. By comparison, an on-street parallel parking space requires 22' or more[3]. Roughly two angled parking spaces can thus be created for every parallel parking space, increasing parking capacity by almost 100% simply by restriping the spaces. However, when converting spaces from parallel to angled parking, it is usually necessary to restripe any lane markings as well since the angle parking will necessitate moving the outside travel lane closer to the center of the street.



Each source is referred to by the same number every time it is cited. Please keep citation style consistent.
[1] Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates. 2005. Back-in/head-out angle parking.
[2] Dimensions of Angle Parking Spaces, P
[3] Back-in angle parking: what is it, and when and where is it most effective? Pedestrian Bicycle Information Center.


Pictures are cited in the order they appear above. Please keep citation style consistent.
[1] Angled parking, NorthPort, NY. Photo by Dan Burden via Pedestrian Bicycle Information Center Image Library.
[2] Back-in angled parking, Tucson, AZ. Photo by Jamie Moody via WalkSanDiego.