ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A few years ago, the City tried a new approach to parking downtown, but it ended up confusing drivers more than anything. Now, they’re scrapping those plans. Just off Fifth and Tijeras, there used to be buffered parking spots called ‘floating’ parking spots, where drivers could park further out into the road and it would let bicyclists ride closer to the curb. Now, that’s gone and the City has a new plan.
“We noticed they weren’t there anymore,” said driver Kathy Williamson.
Williamson and her daughter were trying to park near the main library off Fifth and Copper in downtown when they noticed something was missing on the road. “We were going to the library and looking to park there and it was a little confusing in the past so I’m glad to not see them there anymore,” said Williamson.
Williamson is talking about these parking spots called ‘floating’ parking lanes.
“So a few years ago, the City tried to add some bicycle lanes in between the curbs and the parking spaces,” said Development of Municipal Development spokesperson Johnny Chandler. “It was a concept they were trying out to try to give a little more protection when it came to riding their bicycle.”
These floating parking spots were only in a few spots around town, but the City said they were causing too many problems.
“We had motorists parking up against the curb in the bicycle lane which could lead to a ticket, we also had some motorists stopping behind the vehicles that were parked in the parking spaces thinking they were in line for the traffic at this traffic signal,” said Chandler.
The city recently gave the spots the red light and scrapped those floating lanes. “We eradicated all these parking spaces here,” said Chandler. “We’re adding those parking spaces back but they’ll be up against the curb.”
The city also hopes going back to parking along the curb will make it easier for drivers. And drivers agree. “I think that’s a great idea,” said Williamson. “It was confusing.”
The city will re-stripe the roads that had those floating parking spaces in a few weeks. They’ll also add new signage encouraging drivers to share the road with bicyclists and people on the new e-scooters. The city is also adding more street parking near Civic Plaza.