After surveying town residents, the San Marcos City Council passed a decision to change the back-in parking on one side of LBJ Drive to head-in parking. The decision was made during a city council meeting on Jan. 3.
Trey Hatt, communications specialist for San Marcos, said the city council implemented back-in parking along LBJ Drive in December 2013. By reversing this decision, it will cost the city between $7,000 and $10,000. Forty-two existing spots will be repainted to allow head-in parking.
“The city has gone to the public to see what they think,” Hatt said. “There have been really mixed reviews from the residents about back-in parking.”
Three days after the decision was made, a petition was released on change.org and has since received 61 out of the 100 signatures it has asked for. The petition states that back-in parking is the safest way to park considering the bike lane along LBJ Drive. The petitioner and commenters both state that back-in parking allows drivers to see a wider field of vision when leaving their space, which enhances the safety for cyclists.
The petition suggests, “the cost of repainting the spots could be re-purposed for continuing driver’s education services and/or a practice lot so that folks could learn a safer and easier method of parking.”
The 42 spots that will be reconfigured are in front of downtown businesses along one side of North LBJ Drive including Erbert and Gerbert’s, Crafthouse Kitchen & Tap, Hays Co Outfitters and Barefoot Campus Outfitter.
Kelly Ford, music studies senior, says she feels that the change will not affect business along LBJ, but parking will be easier.
“I’m glad they’re changing it,” Ford said.
Lauren Cobb, interdisciplinary studies sophomore and associate at Barefoot Campus Outfitter, says she believes a lot of consumers will like the decision; however, it is not the safer way to park in the area.
“I actually prefer to back in. It’s easier when you’re pulling out, because you can see oncoming traffic,” Cobb said.
The decision does not indicate a change in the amount of parking available, Hatt said. The back-in parking on Hutchison Street will remain the same, leaving downtown consumers with multiple parking configurations to choose from.
Hatt says the reconstruction of the spots will be implemented over the next 30-60 days, and the council has strongly urged city staff to research the most efficient ways to configure the new stripes to maximize safety for bicyclists.