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More scooter-commuting-friendly cities

December 7, 2009

More ammo for your city council muckraking: USA Today looks at Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Columbus’ commitment to join San Francisco, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Cincinnati as scooter-friendly cities. (Thanks, Patrick, for reading USA Today so we don’t have to!)

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5 Responses to “More scooter-commuting-friendly cities”

  1. lobstermanNo Gravatar on December 7th, 2009 1:16pm

    Calling Cincinnati “scooter friendly” might be stretching it, if you’re talking about parking.

    While I applaud the city for putting in the free spaces, and I am thankful they are there, they are spread across 5 locations with only two to five marked spaces each. Even in marginal weather the big bikes and the scooters have to get there really early (say before 7:00 AM) to fight it out for the spaces most days. I got a $60 parking ticket for being slightly over the line one day at the over filled free parking. I don’t really call that “friendly”. Under 20 spots in the heart of downtown is a nice gesture but not exactly worthy of lauding in a national publication as an example of “scooter friendly”.

    If what they mean by “scooter friendly” is the local scooter scene, yeah, but they didn’t mention that in the article. Lots of greater scooterists and what is probably one of the best scooter shops there is (Metro Scooter).

    They also didn’t mention Crossroads Church, but that has more dedicated scooter/motorcycle parking than the city, and there it’s primo parking right up by the doors.

    I’m sorry, but if any city wants to claim to be scooter friendly, they need to provide more than a couple dozen parking spaces scattered around the city. It’s OK with me if they charge $50/year for a permit if they provide spaces to park in.

  2. orinoNo Gravatar on December 7th, 2009 1:44pm

    Seattle can be called scooter-friendly because of its scale, but the city council has basically done nothing since the scooter forum almost two years ago. The militant bicycle lobby has the city council by the short hairs… the city has actually removed street parking to build bicycle racks in those spaces (bicycles don’t need to park in the street, cuz they can park everywhere else), but can’t seem to muster the will to take some white paint and more create motorcycle spaces downtown and in the close-in neighborhoods. Never mind the idea of doing like Toronto and making scooter parking free. And this in spite of one of the city council’s more intelligent, effective members being the owner of a Vespa Granturismo.

    Portland is somewhat better in this regard… the motorcycle spaces are big enough to hold Harleys and clearly marked. But there don’t seem to be any more of them than there are in Seattle. Again, it’s Portland’s scale that makes it scooter-friendly, not any particular effort by city government…

  3. jprestonianNo Gravatar on December 7th, 2009 5:55pm

    Yeah… I read that article, and said, “No way will I suggest this to my city councilperson” — we get away with parking murder in Nashville, and the cops are too macho to give a damn. :) Why would I want to pay to park in scarce, officially-blessed spots when I can pull up just about anywhere that’s not obstructive, and be chilly as can be?
    .

  4. Bart200ccNo Gravatar on December 11th, 2009 12:40am

    Same with Philly. The PPA (Phila Parking Authority) in its infinite wisdom, decided to roll out a pilot program by putting up metered spots and paint lines for us, but no one at the PPA is a rider. They did not address security issues as we are not allowed to lock our bikes to the meter post, and there is nothing on the street to secure to. They also changed the rules for parking in the pilot program zone, but did not do a good job of communication to the riding public. What has happened is a deluge of tickets for parking on the sidewalk ($76, same as for a car) as even the PPA folks don’t know the rules. Like other areas, the bicycling community has already got their lanes, public bike racks, and a overzealous following in and out of city council. We now have a motorcycle/ motorscooter coalition in Philly, which I am part of. We are currently in discussions with the deputy commissioner of transportation, and the PPA over a number of issues to stop the tickets, help commuters, address parking rates (1/2 the cost of a car spot while only taking up a 1/4 of the room), security for small displacement bikes, and to improve communication between the riding public and the agency.
    Bart

  5. lobstermanNo Gravatar on December 15th, 2009 10:17am

    I went to the office in downtown Cincinnati yesterday for the first time in 3 weeks or so. There are exactly 2 marked spaces for motorcycles/scooters surrounding Fountain Square (heart of downtown). There are a few others if you go out a few blocks farther.

    Yesterday (Dec 14) when I left work there were 5 bikes crammed into those 2 spaces. 3 of them were Genuine Buddys, one Harley and something else very big I didn’t recognize. There are always lots of Buddys parked downtown.

    So, if that’s how it is in mid-December when it is 39F in the morning for the ride in, you can imagine what it is like when the weather is above 60F.

    Part of what I take away from this is that Cincinnati is a very Genuine Buddy kind of town. Metro Scooter sells a lot of them, and people who buy them commute on them to work.

    The other part is that Cincinnati needs more motorcycle/scooter parking. We don’t have enough for mid December weather, we really don’t have enough for the summer time.

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