Monday, July 02, 2007

Scooters moving into our territory

Uh, excuse me, but is this allowed?
I'm all for scooters as an alternative to the car. HOWEVER: do they really need to take up room on the sidewalk as well as use up one of our scarce bike racks? Are thieves picking up scooters and carrying them off? Is that really a problem? Raise your hand if you have personally seen a team of gorillas back a truck up to a scooter in a well-trafficked area, lift it into the truck, and drive off.

Since a scooter, unlike a bicycle, has the right to occupy the parking spot of a car, can't they be satisfied with that?

If there's something here that I'm not getting, I'd appreciate educational comments. And I adore scooters, I really do. I'd own one myself if not for the fact that my excercise wouldn't happen.
And by the way, thanks everybody for your concern about Spiderhead and my hidey-hole. Now I can get back to the business at hand, which is what I need the hidey-hole for in the first place.

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At 2:45 AM, Anonymous Mr. Viddy said...

Thank you for this post and the photos. Not only have I seen scooters but also motorcycles locked or chained to bike racks in front of the grocery store. Hello, but I do not think it should be allowed or even necessary.

Motorcycles are the worst because they tend to block the entire rack.

At 8:31 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Just thought I would comment. Scooters do indeed get carried off. You can include motorcycles in that as well. I have friends that ride motorcycles and they have broken down on the side of the road and been afraid to leave their bike their for fear of theft.

Scooters are even lighter than motorcycles and therefore can be hauled off much easier. This scooter driver has at least had the courtesy to not hog the entire rack. I appreciate your frustration, but scooters are valuable transportation to a lot of people and need to be protected as such. I will leave you with this website:

Granted, this is in the UK, but I believe it applies to here as well.

At 10:47 PM, Blogger troy truchon said...

I could fully understand locking up a small scooter (like a vespa) as someone could just pick it up but the danger here is no greater than with a motorcycle, and I don't see people chaining up their motorcycles.

At 11:46 AM, Blogger kate gawf said...

Good point, Troy, that's what I was thinking. I never see motorcycles chained up to anything, so why vespas? Michael (above) says that scooters are lighter than motorcycles and therefore more easily carried off, so I guess that's why. Mr. Viddy (first commenter) says he's seen both. I agree that scooters and motorcycles should be encouraged as car alternatives. If they need to be locked TO something, cities need to start providing that in motorcycle parking areas.

At 10:10 PM, Blogger Vicki Jean said...

First of all, it is illegal to park a scooter or motorcycle on a sidewalk. There's a big parking ticket involved. And as everyone else, they are notoriously easy to carry off, but there are lots of things you can lock them to, when you pay for your parking... unfortunately, you end up generally locking them to signs or to itself. (yes, I ride a scooter too)

At 7:47 AM, Blogger kate gawf said...

Hmm. I've never noticed anything to lock them to in the motorcycle parking areas -- probably because I don't drive one. I'm going to start looking, now I'm curious. Parking ticket for parking on the sidewalk makes sense. Here's a question for you VJ: When you pay for parking at the new Gumby meters, where to you stick the sticker? What's to stop anyone from snagging your sticker and putting it on their scooter or car?

At 8:08 AM, Blogger Vicki Jean said...

Luckily, I have a 250cc scooter which means it's really heavy, so I can lock it to itself and that will deter honest folks. But my last scooter got stolen 5 times (!), and it was about 250#. So, weight isn't everything.

When I park downtown, I put the sticker either on the inside of my windshield, or on my headlight. The sticker says to put it on the headlight, I just prefer the windshield, and it's harder for it to blow or melt off.

There's a receipt attached, and I pocket that, just in case someone steals the sticker. In the vast majority of the time, the sticker is still there when I come back... but it has been stolen sometimes.

At 10:30 AM, Anonymous jen106 said...

When you've had your CHAINED and column locked scooter carted off by a bunch of jerk-offs, then maybe you will not be so harsh on people locking them up. That's actually a considerate scooterist...parked to the side and left the rack for your bikes. Have some compassion...we should be on the same side.

At 10:54 AM, Blogger kate gawf said...

You're right, Jen, there is room left here for bikes to park. And you're also right that we should all be on the same side. We are, actually. I love scooters, though I don't own one. Before I got all these comments I had no idea that scooters were picked up and carried off all the time. Obviously what we need is more scooter parking with something to lock up to. If we had enough bike parking, which we don't, it wouldn't matter that much if the occasional scooter locked up to a bike rack.


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