The Bike Lane Lowdown: Floating parking

Floating parking emerged in tandem with the bike lanes in Richmond, and it was a controversial move. The complaints have been many, so we’re going to break down the issues.

Bike trails in Central Virginia

What is floating parking?

Per the below photo, floating parking is featured furthest to the left where the blue car is located, with a barrier in the middle, separating the bike lanes to the right. If you feel that the lines and signals appear overwhelming, you are not alone.

floating parking

What are the issues with floating parking?

One major complaint is that the floating parking lanes “ate away” at ample driving space. Three and four-lane streets were reduced to just one or two lanes, which will likely cause an increase in traffic.

Motorists have complained that parking in a floating space feels like they are leaving their cars in the middle of the street. It’s not only disorienting, but they worry that their cars are in a vulnerable spot, susceptible to impact.

Another issue is that floating parking is not always designated for parking. At times, cars are free to drive through the floating parking zone during high-traffic times. This creates two issues:

  • Drivers looking for a floating parking space may be ticketed, due to the time restraints placed on the parking zone.
  • Drivers may attempt to merge into what they think is a turn lane, but what is actually the back end of a parked car. The result is a frustrated driver who cannot move, or a rear-end crash.

Are cyclists happy about floating parking?

Cyclists tend to feel safer with floating parking. Parked cars provide a physical barrier between the bike lanes and the traffic lanes, reducing the chances of getting struck.

Floating parking may be controversial, but as people become more familiar with it, they will become more comfortable. Be sure to read street signs before parking, and brush up on the symbols painted on the roads in order to keep yourself and everyone around you safe. And of course, follow the Bike Lane Lowdown for information and tips as the bike lanes expand.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycling or pedestrian accident through no fault of your own, the experienced attorneys at Allen & Allen are here to help. Call for a free consultation at 866-388-1307.