Where to park your scooter?

September 18, 2008 4:54:54 PM PDT
Philadelphia's efforts to go green include a drive to have commuters leave their cars at home. Motorized scooters have become an increasingly popular way of getting around. They're at bike racks all over town.

But there seems to be a problem.

Thursday Action News was there as a motorbike at a rack in front of the criminal justice center was issued a $41 ticket for parking on the sidewalk. Then it was towed.

As for the reason it was towed?

"That came in as a police request so that was ticketed and towed," said Corrine O'Connor of the Parking Authority. "I don't really agree with it personally because he tried to park at the bike rack."

The cost to tow that vehicle to the owner, $125 plus a ticket.

A longstanding ordinance makes it illegal to park motorized vehicles on the sidewalk. However, the parking authority makes an internal exception, allowing them to park at a property line, with the owners permission, or at a bike rack as long as it doesn't impede foot traffic.

"If you park these on the street you're adding congestion and they re going to get hit by cars," said scooter owner Gregory Jacovini. "If you park on the sidewalk like a jerk, they're going to block people, and that's rude. People have to be smart and park just like would you a bicycle, out of the way."

14 bike racks are being installed around the city. Mayor Michael Nutter is aware of the motor bike parking conundrum.

"Obviously we're trying to get out in front of people using bikes more, that's why we re putting in bike racks. But we'll certainly look at the overall policy about where these other vehicles can and cannot park," Mayor Nutter said.

The Parking Authority is exploring ways to create specific motorbike parking on the street where people would probably pay to park at a locking mechanism and in that case, they would have no problems knowing where they can and cannot park.

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