Back-In Parking Change for Fountain Square Park Discussed

A new project in downtown Bowling Green may result in changes to the way people park their vehicles in the area, and not everyone’s happy about it.

The proposed change would mean backing in to parking spots around Fountain Square Park—rather than pulling in as you do now.

This all begin as a part of the Parks Master Plan, a two-million dollar renovation plan to make downtown more appealing and connected throughout.

Among some of the plans laid out by architects was back-in parking.

For safety purposes, when pulling out of the spots, backing in would help drivers see more visibly into on-coming traffic.

Parking stripes would be re-painted to go in the opposite direction if the change was implemented, but at least two commissioners are not on board.

The reason—difficulty—Commissioner Rick Williams says he fears it may steer people away from the area altogether,

“anything that creates difficulty sometimes may make people want to avoid it, so we certainly don’t want to do anything to keep people from coming downtown. We want people to enjoy it and shop downtown and that’s probably the reason that personally, I am the most opposed to it.”

Local businesses on the square agree,

“This isn’t beneficial to any businesses on the square—restaurant, retail—I think this would definitely hurt the businesses,” Kristen Robinette, Owner of Back Down South tells us.

Owner of Golden-Farley, Larry Stewart, believes it will just increase car collisions, “people are going to accidents,” he says, “backing in, scraping up against someone else’s car. It’s a lot easier to pull in and back out.”

As Mark Bitterling, Manager of The Place, gestures over to a car parked over the line he tells us if they can’t park correctly by pulling in, they will do worse backing up into the spots, “They’re counting on people being able to back in to a parking space,” he says, “without causing an accident.”

The Bowling Green City Commission is hosting their third public forum on the proposed downtown plans, including the back-in parking, at Bowling Green Municipal Utilities tonight, Monday April 23rd, until seven p.m.