The great parking debate; back-in or pull-in?

stocksnap_8u9imyl2cqAs another blogger puts it, an issue that has “two bitterly feuding camps” and further compares it to the “…great ‘under’ or ‘over’ toilet paper debate.” I have a feeling that the blogger is Australian so here’s a Canadian (specifically Calgary), pro / con list for back-in:

Pros:

Safety – Apparently it’s safer. So you see a lot of SUVs and trucks doing this. Because, face it, SUVs and trucks have less visibility.

You can pull out faster – Great if you’re robbing the place! Personally I like to get in the store quicker to get in front of that person who doesn’t have kids and is going to dicker in front of us while in the checkout line while my kids try to tear the place apart… (you know who you are!)

Cons:

Groceries – How do you get into your trunk with another vehicle crammed against the trunk lid?

Parking – In Calgary the parking authority can’t see your license plate to confirm if you’re legally parked (in the fancy new online parking system) – so you could get fined and even towed.

Police – In Alberta your license plate is only on the back. If you’re backed in, it looks like you’re hiding something. The police have to get out of their car when patrolling to see your license plate further upsetting them.

Winter – You can’t plug in your block heater: it is in the front of the vehicle where the engine is and the plug-in for the stall is in the front. Which reminds me – when Imperial Oil started managing the Syncrude plant they decreed “all shall back in” and one cheeky Canadian said “that will work until winter…”. Suffice it to say, the Syncrude plant actually froze up for the first time in its history and couldn’t produce for over a week proving again that warm weather people have no idea about cold weather.

Safety – People who are backing in don’t signal what they are doing for some reason? So it appears that they stop randomly and start backing up. In my car, I’ve several times nearly taken their parking space or pulled through to the parking stall they are backing into.

Stall wastage – A large enough percentage of people who back in can’t do it straight. So they usually block off the adjacent stall from being used. This also happens with people pulling-in, however back-in seems to increase the angle beyond what is just “sloppy parking”.

There you have it! In Calgary, clearly the lesser used method is back-in and a high percentage of that is trucks. I am personally a pull-in person as there are too many cons with back-in in Calgary. I have a feeling that back-in occurs much more frequently in warmer climates. Pull-in just seems the more logical way to do it here.

PS. I prefer the toilet paper in the over position. My reasoning is a result of the newer holders that flip up. Imagine banging away in the upward direction on these holders and the paper role flies off…