Yesterday, “06880” tore into the vexing problem of Main Street curbs. Some parallel parkers who scrape strongly against the new granite — constructed to federal standards, to withstand New England winters — have emerged with shredded tires.
Some commenters assailed the new curbs. Some offered solutions (such as: park elsewhere).
A longtime Westporter with strong downtown ties has a fantastic idea: angled parking.
In other words, you’d pull in, nose first, at an angle on one side of Main Street. There would be no parking on the other side.
More vehicles could park this way, the theory goes, because angled cars take up less space than parallel-parked ones. In addition, stripes would guide (somewhat — this is, after all, Westport) drivers. Right now, there are no stripes because the road is irregular. That leads to wasted space.
Angled parking would improve traffic flow. There would be more room, and drivers would not have to wait for the car ahead to maneuver back and forth. (Or wait for the tow truck to come to fix a shredded tire.)
Of course, drivers would also be able to see where they’re going, and presumably not barrel head first into the granite curb. (Though based on the number of drivers who plow through storefronts elsewhere in town, this is debatable.)
Angled parking would also allow for handicap spots. Right now there are none on Main Street — because there are no stripes.
Other downtowns have angled parking — New Canaan, Greenwich and Mamaroneck, to name 3.
This would not be the first time we’ve changed Main Street’s vehicular pattern. Through the mid-1970s, there was 2-way traffic all the way to the Post Road.
I envision merchants “angling” (ho ho) to make sure the head-in parking is on their side of the street.
We can let Lee Papageorge decide. He’s fair and impartial. As owner of Oscar’s Deli, he’s been downtown forever.
And he’s sure seen his share of shredded tires.