This story originally appeared in the April 2016 edition of Georgia's Cities.
Villa Rica Mayor Jay Collins demonstrates reverse angle parking.
Villa Rica residents and visitors to the city’s downtown will soon be introduced to Reverse Angle Parking (RAP). According to the city’s website, RAP is a safer type of angle parking. Instead of pulling into the parking spot, cars back into their spots, allowing them to make eye contact with oncoming traffic when exiting the parking space. The back-in maneuver is simpler than a parallel parking maneuver.
In early February, Charter Communications employees relocated service line cables at 115 W. Wilson St. in downtown Villa Rica to prepare for the city council’s recent decision to make West Wilson Street a one-way street to support RAP. Villa Rica city officials passed the parking ordinance mandating the new parking system with the hopes of making the downtown corridor a safer and more walkable place for residents.
Villa Rica officials share that RAP will improved visibility and increased field of vision, decrease number of collisions by eliminating motorists’ need to back out blindly from their parking space, improved safety for children and cyclists, and make loading and unloading easier.
In addition to restriping the streets and installing new signage, Villa Rica has implemented a coordinated effort to educate the public on this parking initiative through the city’s social media platforms, website and weekly newsletter, said Villa Rica City Manager David Milliron. “We will also be having another test event where folks can come test their reverse parking skills and get a free t-shirt.”
RAP’s popularity is growing nationwide with nearly 30 cities using the parking method, dating as far back as 60 years for Wilmington, Del., and including Macon, Knoxville, Tenn.; Birmingham, Ala.; Washington, DC; Indianapolis, Ind. and New York, NY.
If the initiative is successful in Villa Rica, then RAP will be implemented in the central downtown business district on Bankhead Highway.