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Monday July 28th 2014

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Backing Out of Backing In

The Downtown Improvement Board decided this morning to back out of downtown’s back-in parking space system.

“It was pretty much the result of a fairly broad-based community discussion,” explained Ron Butlin, the DIB’s new executive director. “People weren’t comfortable using it.”

Two blocks of downtown parking along North Palafox Place was converted to back-in spaces in 2011. The spaces were converted in an effort to add more spaces and also because the back-in spaces are purportedly safer; there has, however, been consistent community grumbling—from both merchants and drivers—ever since.

Butlin said he hoped to accomplish the reversal within 30 to 60 days. He was not sure how much costs would be involved with the project.

The DIB director also said that no studies have been done concerning the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the back-in spaces. They’re fate was sealed, rather, by community feedback.

“We could spend money on a study, or we could just do it,” Butlin said.