Friday, March 25, 2011

Backing out of reverse parking

Or is it reversing the decision on back-in parking?

We commented on this subject a number of times in Side’s early days (2009).  Heralded as a major advance in “traffic calming” and safety by a variety of ‘national experts,’ the counter-intuitive concept was approved in the early stages of Maine Street Station development. 

We did a double take when we first came upon it, and it’s quite clear that hundreds of others have been ‘flustrated’ by the visual discordance upon entering Station Avenue.

We’ll stipulate that those who advocated for this approach, and those who approved it, were well intentioned.  They had copious reports, justification, and supporting evidence from a variety of noted consultants, and glowing stories of success elsewhere, none of which, obviously, were Brunswick with its older than average demographics.

This is the same sort of groundswell of expert opinion and wondrous experiential evidence that led to the adoption of open classroom design for school architecture and construction.  The same open classroom approach that Jordan Acres staff has been working around for decades, trying their best to overcome the disadvantages and compromises that ‘advanced education concepts’ have wrought upon basic, well proven school design concepts.

Let’s face it; If there’s ever a time when skepticism is called for, it’s when publicly funded experts and consultants call us together to lead us to glory with their latest advances.

And so we find town officials looking for a way to gracefully walk their way back out of this clearly unpopular decision.  Just ask the owners of the two restaurants in Maine Street Station – Scarlet Begonia’s, and Byrnes’ Irish Pub.  You can read about their views  here:

Your correspondent reflected on this situation for a bit, and decided there is an Other Side to how to resolve this dilemma.  Accordingly, we wrote to town officials to share our expertise and inspiration.  Here’s the gist of what we told them:

Since back in parking was an "outside the box" concept, we’re surprised you didn't come up with an "outside the box" approach to reversing it at little or no cost, except for a sign or two and some paint.

So here’s an approach for your consideration: simply convert the southern side of Station Ave to one way traffic headed west, and convert the northern side to one way traffic headed east.

Voila!  Head in diagonal parking on both sides!  And you could simultaneously start a sister city relationship with a town in Ireland.

This should make Joe Byrnes happy; they drive on the left side in shamrock land, and it would tie in with his restaurant theme.
And subtle as it may be, there would be a connection with an enterprise we operate, known to some as 'The Other Side.'

We suppose you would like to pay us standard consulting rates for the time we put into this solution, but until we get licensed appropriately, we don't think it would be fair for us to accept compensation.

Just chalk this one up to good will and active citizen engagement.

Dilemma solved, just like that!  If that’s not outside the box thinking, what is?

Let’s go have a Guinness and enjoy the moment.  Sit right down and let you buy be a pint or two.

No comments:

Post a Comment