University of Oregon

Resource Assistance for Rural Environments

Hermiston Addresses ‘Parallel Parking Phobia’

Do Hermiston drivers have a phobia when it comes to parallel parking? If they do, the Hermiston City Council stepped in Monday night to alleviate those fears.

The council voted to convert parallel parking along a portion of Second Street between Main Street and Hurlburt Avenue to diagonal parking. The change will add two additional parking spots as well as a handicapped-accessible parking spot nearest to Main Street. It will also ease the “phobia” of parallel parking. The change will only affect the east side of Second Street. The west side will remain parallel parking.

Last fall, Emma Porricola, the city’s Main Street program coordinator, interviewed downtown merchants to create a report about Hermiston’s current downtown environment and visions for the future. Five key issues were identified: the need for more retail stores, more restaurants, more events and activities, building upgrades and beautification, and more parking.

Porricola’s interviews revealed that many merchants feel the downtown area lacks enough parking, however, one business owner said the problem wasn’t enough spaces, but enough easily-accessible parking spaces. He believed Hermiston has a “parallel parking phobia.”

Most of the parking in the downtown area is parallel parking. Converting portions of the downtown to diagonal parking could provide a few extra parking spaces and can be down quickly at little cost to the city.

Originally Published in Northeast Oregon Now
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