Parking along the streetcar line has long been a contentious issue.

Cyclists wanted it eliminated, businesses were concerned it would harm their businesses.

In the end the streetcar planners decided to leave most of the parking there, but did stripe the parking lines about a foot closer to the curb than previous plans.

The paint went down months ago — it’s already fading — but people are  parking well outside of the painted box.

I’ve been riding between the University of Arizona and Downtown along the route and it’s incredibly common to see dozens of cars parked over the line.

Apparently the lines don’t mean much to some motorists and I’ve yet to see a parking enforcement officer ticketing anyone.

For bicyclist it’s a safety issue. Those six inches can be the different between crashing and riding by when someone swing open a door.

What do you think? Is it an issue that needs attention?



9 thoughts on “Photos: What happened to stricter parking on Fourth Avenue”
  1. Of course it’s an issue. It will receive every feeble attempt the city can come up with, like trying to squeeze cars into a space they are not accustomed to. There is no way that sharrows can be placed outside the door zone that don’t overlap the streetcar track bed. I suppose the city could create mini-sharrows and give bikes a whooping 8-12 inches to operate in. It defies the odds that the city can never seem to do the right thing first when addressing bicycle issues…or any issues for that matter.

  2. This is a no-brainer. There is no place there to ride that will successfully share with the streetcar, let alone with cars, from whom you need to take the entire lane. Basically the current system prohibits safe biking on 4th Ave, but since it is technically allowed, it virtually guarantees collision and injury. Either the parked cars or the bikes must go. I vote the parked cars. I never parked my car on 4th even pre-streetcar because I consider it too congested to do safely. Walk around a corner.
    We can’t have it all. Somebody needs to step up and make a decision.

  3. Its an issue but its an education issue drivers don’t know why they need to park inside the lines.

  4. Its absolutely an issue. Its completely ridiculous that they are trying
    to shoe-horn cars, parking, street car, and bikes all into a limited
    space. In the end nothing was done and now it has just become more
    dangerous for cyclist. its completely absurd that they did not get rid
    of parking along the route. Isn’t the whole point of the street car to
    make car travel occur less in those areas? Why then would anyone even
    ride the streetcar when they can just drive their car right up to the
    biz they want to visit and park? If you do away with parking along the
    route it encourages drivers to use the parking garages and thus use the
    streetcar. Plus it makes if safer for cyclist and pedestrians. It also
    gives the street a cleaner look and makes some of the shops a more
    visible street appearance. Its unbelievable to me that they did not get
    rid of those parking spaces.

  5. Does anyone know the width of the streetcar?  It would be interesting to know how much space there will be between the parking line and the actual space the streetcars will occupy.  
    Also the dimensions of the new parking spaces.  I wonder if you could lawfully park a Hummer in one of those spaces? 
    Third, I wonder how long it takes a streetcar to stop.  It’s only a matter of time before a cyclist gets doored and thrown into the path of one, or nearly doored and then falls when they move into the track to avoid the door.  Luckily, I am guessing those things come to stop pretty quickly, but even so, it seems inevitable that there will be awful collisions with very serious injuries if parking is permitted along Fourth Avenue.
    Finally, I am guessing that a cyclist could lawfully take the lane in front of a streetcar as there will not be room for three-feet of safe passing space.  That will depend on whether the streetcar is considered a “motor vehicle” under the statutes, however.

  6. @Erik Ryberg This video and story I shot in 2010 has many answers to your questions:
    Parking should be striped at 7 feet As for a hummer, the Wikipedia entry a hummer is 86.5 inches or 7.2 inches. So no it would not be legally be able to park. 
    I believe the car is approximately 8 feet and I seem to recall the car would basically be so wide that it comes out to the spot where the asphalt and concrete meet. 
    Not sure what the stopping distance is compared to a car, but I believe you will be able to take the lane. The problem with taking the lane is that you would be riding between the tracks to really assert your right to the lane.

  7. As is 4th Ave is a conflict zone with several overlapping areas of influence the street car width, parking width and dooring zone. It’s mighty tight, someone parks poorly, opens a large sedan door and you could be in the street car travel width. Oh well, what can you expect from civil engineers. But most curious to me is why it’s there in the first place instead of spending the $200 millions on a more major route where it could go somewhere, like Stone to Laos transit center and down Sixth eventually built to the airport The old Mister Rodgers trolley was fine scale for that area of town.

  8. Absolutely there should be parking all along both sides of 4th Avenue after the streetcar starts running. And it should be free. The strip should be 2 to 3 feet wide, and it should be for bikes. There is a major shortage of bicycle parking in those areas, and if the only way to solve it is to take up more sidewalk area, we’re competing with pedestrians (i.e. ourselves, when we dismount) and getting in the way of commerce and communal use of outdoor space. More bikes mean more customers. Cyclists should be demanding equal access to the roads, both the travel lanes and the parking infrastructure. Why not?

  9. I won’t ride on 4th Avenue anymore. It’s unfortunate. Two weeks ago I had a car of presumably drunk kids pull out of Maloney’s and swerve at me telling me to “Get the fuck off the road faggot.” A few months ago my wife was hit by a college student on 4th avenue, now with the new streetcar I can either ride in the tracks or constantly risk getting doored. 

    4th Avenue is officially dead to me.

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