Author Topic: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces  (Read 8894 times)

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Roodabega

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Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #75 on: February 21, 2014, 12:20:43 PM »
Backing in as a concept isn't the problem. The problem is when people who clearly don't have the skills to do it try to do it.

Backing in shouldn't take any longer than pulling in forwards - if you know what you're doing. There's no need to constantly pull out and straighten up if you get it right the first time and do it in one smooth movement.

And of course, those people who aren't competent at backing into a space probably aren't going to be any better at backing out of it either. So, one way or the other, they're going to hold someone up. Either they back in and hold someone up and drive out quickly, or they drive in quickly then hold someone up later when they're backing out.

So, no. The backing up isn't the issue, or what holds people up. What holds people up is inadequate driving skills.

Backing in isn't an inherited skill any more than driving is.  It takes practice.  Even the best drivers probably took a few tries to master the skill.  Just like the first few times driving they probably didn't drive well.  It's OK to feel annoyance that a person is taking longer than average to do something.  It doesn't make them wrong to do it or make them rude.

perpetua

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Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #76 on: February 21, 2014, 12:27:42 PM »
Backing in as a concept isn't the problem. The problem is when people who clearly don't have the skills to do it try to do it.

Backing in shouldn't take any longer than pulling in forwards - if you know what you're doing. There's no need to constantly pull out and straighten up if you get it right the first time and do it in one smooth movement.

And of course, those people who aren't competent at backing into a space probably aren't going to be any better at backing out of it either. So, one way or the other, they're going to hold someone up. Either they back in and hold someone up and drive out quickly, or they drive in quickly then hold someone up later when they're backing out.

So, no. The backing up isn't the issue, or what holds people up. What holds people up is inadequate driving skills.

Backing in isn't an inherited skill any more than driving is.  It takes practice.  Even the best drivers probably took a few tries to master the skill.  Just like the first few times driving they probably didn't drive well.  It's OK to feel annoyance that a person is taking longer than average to do something.  It doesn't make them wrong to do it or make them rude.

Well, I don't know. I tend to think that if you can't do these things, how have you passed your test in the first place? (I'm aware that our driving test is more stringent, though). Apply that to any skill that a driver really ought to have.  It amazes me the number of people who drive about all day quite happily but also say things like 'I don't know how to merge' or 'I can't parallel park' or 'I can't pull away off a hill without rolling back so everyone needs to give me space'. How do some of these people have licences? It puzzles me.

Re needing practice, I suppose it's a bit like the 'teaching your child about transactions' thread we had a while back. Not rude, but it's inconsiderate to do it when you're holding up a line. If you know you can't back into a space and need practice, then the polite thing to do would be to practice in an empty car park a few times first before trying to do it on a Saturday morning in the local Sainsbury's car park when it's full of shoppers.

But, backing into spaces in and of itself isn't rude.  And certainly in the case of parallel parking, it's actually quicker.

TootsNYC

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Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #77 on: February 21, 2014, 12:28:33 PM »
And I suppose there's an argument that it's not particularly considerate to do your practicing in a way that inconveniences a lot of people--but then, were I thinking I needed practice, I'd stop by that space and wait for you to go past me.

And, someone who is normally moderately good at it (or even pretty good at it) can end up getting a "bad bite" (as my DH calls it) and needing a bit more back-and-forth -this time.-

Other people are going to inconvenience you sometimes. And now and then, you may be that "inconvenient other person" to someone else. You know, "excuse me for living," as they say.  ;)

Betelnut

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Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #78 on: February 21, 2014, 12:34:13 PM »

And of course, those people who aren't competent at backing into a space probably aren't going to be any better at backing out of it either. So, one way or the other, they're going to hold someone up. Either they back in and hold someone up and drive out quickly, or they drive in quickly then hold someone up later when they're backing out.


Not necessarily. I am not good at backing into parking spaces so i don't do it, but I can back quickly out of the space because there is a lot more room to maneuver around - I am not trying to get into a small space.

This is me.  I'm pretty terrible at backing up and wouldn't do it into a space--I would definitely have to try several times and I would be anxious the whole time that I would hit the other cars.  Backing up to get out is much easier since you have the whole road/lane to back into.
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GoTwins

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Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #79 on: February 21, 2014, 01:00:28 PM »
Lots of companies here have a "back in, head out only" policy. This is because statistically, it was found more accidents were happening when first move was in reverse than when the first move was in drive. It's easier to see pedestrians or oncoming traffic in front of the vehicle than behind, after all. Also, in an emergency situation it's a lot easier to get out quickly in drive than reverse. So, back in parking has become second nature for many of those workers, who have taken it with them to the gym and grocery store.
If I back into a spot at the grocery store with our Suzuki Grand Vitara I'd never be able to get the groceries in the vehicle. It has a large door on the back that swings open from the side. If a vehicle is parked in the spot behind me I wouldn't be able to get the door open to load the groceries (yes, the door is that wide and has the spare tire mounted on it). Not to mention that squeezing a shopping cart between 2 cars is sometimes difficult.
Another reason people should be able to park as they choose as long as they take up only 1 space and aren't going the wrong way down a 1-way aisle.
With all the real rudeness witnessed in parking lots, I still can't believe anyone would care about head in/out parking.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 01:04:14 PM by GoTwins »

gen xer

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Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #80 on: February 21, 2014, 01:21:51 PM »
And I suppose there's an argument that it's not particularly considerate to do your practicing in a way that inconveniences a lot of people--but then, were I thinking I needed practice, I'd stop by that space and wait for you to go past me.

And, someone who is normally moderately good at it (or even pretty good at it) can end up getting a "bad bite" (as my DH calls it) and needing a bit more back-and-forth -this time.-

Other people are going to inconvenience you sometimes. And now and then, you may be that "inconvenient other person" to someone else. You know, "excuse me for living," as they say.  ;)

Yeah we all have our "bad bites" so that is a good point.  Inconvenience happens sometimes.  I think in general just a good level of awareness is what is needed.  If normally you are pretty good at it and you just have an off day...well that's life.  But if you "always" need a kajillion little back and forths and it "always" takes you ten times longer than it should then it is crossing the line into inconsiderate.

Of course we can't really tell which is which.  I am sure that on my "off days" I have had people fuming and making uncharitable observations about my driving skills.....and I certainly would think it rude to start blasting the horn and making gestures to some poor hapless backer inner.

But have you ever seen those stunned, vacuous looking people trying to back in and it's like they have no cognizance of what is going on around them?  At least when I occasionally mess up I have the decency to look ashamed. ;)

Jones

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Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #81 on: February 21, 2014, 01:23:09 PM »
Lots of companies here have a "back in, head out only" policy. This is because statistically, it was found more accidents were happening when first move was in reverse than when the first move was in drive. It's easier to see pedestrians or oncoming traffic in front of the vehicle than behind, after all. Also, in an emergency situation it's a lot easier to get out quickly in drive than reverse. So, back in parking has become second nature for many of those workers, who have taken it with them to the gym and grocery store.
If I back into a spot at the grocery store with our Suzuki Grand Vitara I'd never be able to get the groceries in the vehicle. It has a large door on the back that swings open from the side. If a vehicle is parked in the spot behind me I wouldn't be able to get the door open to load the groceries (yes, the door is that wide and has the spare tire mounted on it). Not to mention that squeezing a shopping cart between 2 cars is sometimes difficult.
Another reason people should be able to park as they choose as long as they take up only 1 space and aren't going the wrong way down a 1-way aisle.
With all the real rudeness witnessed in parking lots, I still can't believe anyone would care about head in/out parking.
First, I agree with you on the fact people should be able to park head in or out as they so choose.

I also wanted to clarify I live in a "pickup truck" town. Most backuppers just toss their bags into a box in the truck bed. I've also seen those not in pickups pull their vehicle forward a bit to get the hatch open.  Which almost begs the question...is it more rude to stand in the parking aisle unloading a cart, or have the nose of a car poking out of the parking space about the same distance?  ;)  ;D

Rhetorical question as I've never seen anyone inconvenienced by either choice, don't want the thread dissolving into meaningless argument, and just wanted to point out another "darned if you do, darned if you don't" parking situation that truly isn't rude, just part of life.

wolfie

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Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #82 on: February 21, 2014, 01:51:37 PM »
Backing in as a concept isn't the problem. The problem is when people who clearly don't have the skills to do it try to do it.

Backing in shouldn't take any longer than pulling in forwards - if you know what you're doing. There's no need to constantly pull out and straighten up if you get it right the first time and do it in one smooth movement.

And of course, those people who aren't competent at backing into a space probably aren't going to be any better at backing out of it either. So, one way or the other, they're going to hold someone up. Either they back in and hold someone up and drive out quickly, or they drive in quickly then hold someone up later when they're backing out.

So, no. The backing up isn't the issue, or what holds people up. What holds people up is inadequate driving skills.

Backing in isn't an inherited skill any more than driving is.  It takes practice.  Even the best drivers probably took a few tries to master the skill.  Just like the first few times driving they probably didn't drive well.  It's OK to feel annoyance that a person is taking longer than average to do something.  It doesn't make them wrong to do it or make them rude.

Well, I don't know. I tend to think that if you can't do these things, how have you passed your test in the first place? (I'm aware that our driving test is more stringent, though). Apply that to any skill that a driver really ought to have.  It amazes me the number of people who drive about all day quite happily but also say

I needed to parallel park for my driving test and I could do it. But that was well over 20 years ago - I haven't needed to do it since so I am not comfortable doing it. I could if I really needed to but I like to avoid it.

marcel

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Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #83 on: February 21, 2014, 03:26:08 PM »
Those who think that pulling in forward is easeir and quicker then backing in must be living in places where the lanes and parking spots are pretty wide.
Apart from the added safety, as explained by others, you keep your manouivrability when backing into a spot, making parking in a tight spot easier. I regularly park in places where pulling in forward is not possible or difficult, but backing in is a quick and easy manoeuvre.

As an example of what I mean, when the space you parki in is just wide enough to get out of your car, then you have to be almost completely lined up with the spot before your front wheels go between the cars to your side. When backing into  a spot, you can still manoeuver a lot with yopur front when you are between the cars, meaning that you have to be less lined up when getting between the other cars. Due to this, you can then park with smaller lanes as well.

I do think we have often have smaller spots here then in the US, but most people back into a spot anyway, regardless of how much space they have.

As for the pulling in and back, this happens both with people backing in and with people pulling in forward. A good reason why people backing in may do it a bit more is also that, due to above mentioned reasons, it is actualy easier to cerrect their position with a quick out and in, then for the person pulling forward, and it is also safer to do this for them.

I would like to point out, that I think that in daily live I see more people backing in then pulling forward here (anecdotal, but I just stepped out and there are at the moment 15 cars parked in my street, 4 forward and 11 back.) Apart from the more often tight spaces, another major difference with countries where many people posting here come from is that over here only professionals are allowed to teach people to drive, and they will teahc you to park (both perpendicular and paralel) by backing into a space.
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Arila

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Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #84 on: February 21, 2014, 03:30:59 PM »
Yes, Marcel, the parking in the US (especially in the west/cities & areas primarily built up after cars were common) is a lot easier than in Europe.

I literally had to close my eyes and plug my ears while watching someone park in a multistory car-park in Vienna, for example -- eeeek! The UK almost as bad, but DH is from there and so he drives when we visit.

perpetua

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Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #85 on: February 21, 2014, 03:31:45 PM »
Backing in as a concept isn't the problem. The problem is when people who clearly don't have the skills to do it try to do it.

Backing in shouldn't take any longer than pulling in forwards - if you know what you're doing. There's no need to constantly pull out and straighten up if you get it right the first time and do it in one smooth movement.

And of course, those people who aren't competent at backing into a space probably aren't going to be any better at backing out of it either. So, one way or the other, they're going to hold someone up. Either they back in and hold someone up and drive out quickly, or they drive in quickly then hold someone up later when they're backing out.

So, no. The backing up isn't the issue, or what holds people up. What holds people up is inadequate driving skills.

Backing in isn't an inherited skill any more than driving is.  It takes practice.  Even the best drivers probably took a few tries to master the skill.  Just like the first few times driving they probably didn't drive well.  It's OK to feel annoyance that a person is taking longer than average to do something.  It doesn't make them wrong to do it or make them rude.

Well, I don't know. I tend to think that if you can't do these things, how have you passed your test in the first place? (I'm aware that our driving test is more stringent, though). Apply that to any skill that a driver really ought to have.  It amazes me the number of people who drive about all day quite happily but also say

I needed to parallel park for my driving test and I could do it. But that was well over 20 years ago - I haven't needed to do it since so I am not comfortable doing it. I could if I really needed to but I like to avoid it.

I wonder how it is that you've never needed to do it. You have a driveway at home and don't have to park on the street? All the shops you go to have car parks and you don't need to park on a street? Etc? Interesting. May be an infrastructure thing.

Where I live I have to parallel park all the time because I'm usually parked on a street of some description, and it's been like that since I passed my test nearly 25 years ago. The only time I park in a car park with lined spaces is when I go to Sainsbury's or the like to do my weekly shop or if I use a multistorey car park in a town centre (which isn't often since I live in a big city.)


TootsNYC

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Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #86 on: February 21, 2014, 03:42:15 PM »

I wonder how it is that you've never needed to do it. You have a driveway at home and don't have to park on the street? All the shops you go to have car parks and you don't need to park on a street? Etc? Interesting. May be an infrastructure thing.

Where I live I have to parallel park all the time because I'm usually parked on a street of some description, and it's been like that since I passed my test nearly 25 years ago. The only time I park in a car park with lined spaces is when I go to Sainsbury's or the like to do my weekly shop or if I use a multistorey car park in a town centre (which isn't often since I live in a big city.)

Don't assume that where you live is at all like where other people live!

1) you live in the UK, and the US has tons more elbow room for cars than an old country like Britain.

2) you live in a big city--they are VERY different from other places.

Many, many people never need to parallel park.

On-street parking is not that common in many US cities, because parking lots are ubiquitous in many cities, especially in commercial or retail places.
  My mom & dad live in Des Moines, which is the state's biggest city. Normally they never, ever need to parallel park. The only parallel-parking spaces are in the city center, where there are also many lots, and where few people go.

Some on-street parking is head-in, actually

Or, on-street parking doesn't require parallel parking, because there just aren't that many cars parking on the side of the street in a great many residential areas. So you  may park parallel to the curb, but you aren't maneuvering into a car-sized shape, because you've got a huge stretch of empty curb to simply pull up beside.


camlan

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Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #87 on: February 21, 2014, 04:00:27 PM »

I wonder how it is that you've never needed to do it. You have a driveway at home and don't have to park on the street? All the shops you go to have car parks and you don't need to park on a street? Etc? Interesting. May be an infrastructure thing.

Where I live I have to parallel park all the time because I'm usually parked on a street of some description, and it's been like that since I passed my test nearly 25 years ago. The only time I park in a car park with lined spaces is when I go to Sainsbury's or the like to do my weekly shop or if I use a multistorey car park in a town centre (which isn't often since I live in a big city.)

In the US, unless you live in a city, you probably have a driveway. Most likely, you also have a garage. The newer your home, the greater the chances of having both. And even on the outskirts of many cities, houses will at least have a driveway. I used to live in a neighborhood of Boston that was built up in the 1920s, before car ownership was common. Driveways were added later and they just barely fit between the houses.

Newer communities with HOAs sometimes even have rules about parking in the garage first, then the driveway and only then on the street.

Many cities have parking lots centrally located. I live in a small city of about 30,000. There are two large city-owned parking lots in the center of the city to allow access to the stores in the area. Along the busiest stretch of Main Street, there is head-on parking. There is parallel parking along some of the side streets, but some are too narrow to allow cars to park (the result of streets being laid out long before cars were invented.) The residential streets have parallel parking, but mostly that is for visitors, as people tend to park in their driveways. I have to parallel park if the church parking lot is full, but on a weekly basis, that's about the only time I do so.

My city prohibits on-street parking from midnight to 6 am from December to April, because of snow. So you either have a driveway or garage or both, or you have to park in one of 4 designated parking lots in the center of town.

When I took driving lessons in the late 1980s, my instructor wasn't even going to teach me how to parallel park--he didn't think I'd ever need to know how. I had to convince him that I visited Boston often and would need the skill there before he'd show me. 
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Onyx_TKD

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Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #88 on: February 21, 2014, 04:06:56 PM »
Well, I don't know. I tend to think that if you can't do these things, how have you passed your test in the first place? (I'm aware that our driving test is more stringent, though). Apply that to any skill that a driver really ought to have.  It amazes me the number of people who drive about all day quite happily but also say things like 'I don't know how to merge' or 'I can't parallel park' or 'I can't pull away off a hill without rolling back so everyone needs to give me space'. How do some of these people have licences? It puzzles me.

When I took my drivers' test, I had to reverse down a short stretch of straight road and parallel park. Backing into a parking-lot style space was not involved.

As for rolling back on a hill, I assume that was in a manual transmission car? In the USA, the default for cars is automatic transmission, so a lot of people learned to drive and took their tests in automatics. The drivers' license doesn't distinguish between them. So, for example, I learned to drive and took my test in my mom's automatic. I learned to drive a manual several years later. I drove one pretty regularly for a couple of years, but I was in a pretty flat area that didn't give me a great deal of practice starting on steep grades. I don't think I roll back substantially, but I'm still nervous if I have to pull away on a hill in a manual and someone is right on my bumper.

I wonder how it is that you've never needed to do it. You have a driveway at home and don't have to park on the street? All the shops you go to have car parks and you don't need to park on a street? Etc? Interesting. May be an infrastructure thing.

Like Toots and camlan described, stores where I've lived (at least where I've lived and had a car  ;)) generally do have parking lots. Not only do houses generally have driveways, but all the apartments I've lived in have had head-in parking, too, either in a parking lot or a garage. There are also places in my hometown where there is diagonal, head-in street parking. I think people generally learn what they need to pass their tests, but what sticks for the long term is whatever they actually use on a regular basis. For example, if you went to my hometown, a lot of drivers are accustomed to parallel parking with the drivers' side to the curb (in addition to the normal parallel parking with passengers' side to the curb) because we have a unusually large number of one-way streets with parallel parking on both sides. People from cities without that structure would probably be baffled why we are accustomed to parking on the "wrong" side! (The "wrong-side" parallel parking is not covered on the drivers' test!  ;D)

perpetua

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Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #89 on: February 21, 2014, 04:20:36 PM »

I wonder how it is that you've never needed to do it. You have a driveway at home and don't have to park on the street? All the shops you go to have car parks and you don't need to park on a street? Etc? Interesting. May be an infrastructure thing.

Where I live I have to parallel park all the time because I'm usually parked on a street of some description, and it's been like that since I passed my test nearly 25 years ago. The only time I park in a car park with lined spaces is when I go to Sainsbury's or the like to do my weekly shop or if I use a multistorey car park in a town centre (which isn't often since I live in a big city.)

Don't assume that where you live is at all like where other people live!


Goodness, I'm not. Quite the contrary. I was interested in the differences. I thought that was clear in my post by my quoting examples.