Most mornings, as I pull into an on-street parking space on 19th Street in Shockoe Bottom, I think about diagonal parking.
Why, you ask? Am I that much of a bore?
My office is at 19th and East Franklin. The street where I park is one way, with diagonal parking on one side and parallel on the other. This means that cars officially can park at an angle. A very old sign at the beginning of the block even says “Park 45 degrees.” It reminds me of pictures of old, showing just about every southern Main Street with a row of Model Ts lined up diagonally in front of busy downtown storefronts.
That this block remains is probably an accident of history. Perhaps a traffic engineer had a soft side and couldn’t let it go. Whatever the reason, I am grateful for it.
What makes me worry is that in the city’s downtown plan, 19th Street is scheduled to become a two-way street as part of the Shockoe Bottom Land Use and Development Strategy, which was adopted by City Council in January 2000. To make way for the two-way street, the diagonal parking will have to go. Continue reading