Category Archives: parking

Lot opens downtown

Edited to add: see Columbus Scooter Parking for more details, including a photo and an official report with maps.

I wish I could take off of work to go watch this, it’s at 10 AM today (Wednesday)!  Exciting!!

NBC4 reports: “The city will open its first scooter parking lot on Gay Street between Third and High.”

And from a City Press Release:

Mayor to Announce New Parking Areas for Motorcycles and Scooters

Mayor Michael B. Coleman will team with City Councilmember Maryellen O’Shaughnessy and local scooter enthusiasts Wednesday morning to announce the City’s plan to add new on-street and alley parking Downtown, in the Short North and in the Brewery District specifically designated for motorcycles and scooters.

10:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 16, 2008

61 East Gay Street, On sidewalk in front of Subway

I’m guessing they will unveil the lot on Gay Street, and announce their plans to open similar lots.  Yay!!!  This weekend I will scope it/them out and post some photos.

hat-tip to Walker of Columbus Underground.  CU discussion can be found there too.

A good article on scooters

I’m a little surprised. The local paper, Columbus Dispatch, published an article today about scooters. After reading it, I like it! There are no stunning inaccuracies, or teeth-grating biases. Yay!! (Oftentimes when a paper does an article on scooters, it has several factual errors.) I will give credit where credit is due – good job Kevin Joy!

Here are some quotes from it:

Motohio sold three times more scooters than motorcycles in May — an unheard-of ratio for the 4-year-old business…   … the Speed Factory is out of scooters — with a waiting list 30 names deep, said manager Aaron Saez, who expects more scooters this month.

If a place sells both motorcycles and scooters, they make more money on motorcycles, and tend to focus on them.  Motorcycle-focused shops, take note!  You are losing out on sales if you ignore scooters and scooter buyers.

Urban parking, of course, is sometimes a pain…. Unchained, a scooter becomes an easy target for thieves… Mike Brown, coordinator of urban ventures for Columbus, recently met with riders. Mayor Michael B. Coleman, he said, will soon announce details of a scooter- and motorcycle-parking initiative.

Well this is good news.  Hopefully the initiative will be excellent!  (Other thoughts on Columbus Scooter Parking can be found here: http://scooterparking.wordpress.com/)

Go read the entire article.  Links the article could have included are below.  (This is not a knock on this particular article, most Dispatch articles have few, if any, links.  It’s nice they include store names, addresses, and phone numbers, but for many of us linking to the website is more useful.)

Where to Buy a Scooter in Columbus (full disclosure – obviously this is my own page)

Cutters Forum (the vintage group)

EPSP Forum (the whatever group).  Looks like they are riding out from North Market on Sunday, 11 AM.

Just do it

Don’t talk, do it.  Don’t plan, do it.

Well, OK sometimes you do have to plan.  And sometimes you do have to talk.  Chatting about a topic with several people usually nets you better ideas than if you just think by yourself.  So one of my pet projects is getting scooter parking here in Columbus… so as part of helping that cause I “made” a website this past weekend.  Without further ado – http://scooterparking.wordpress.com

Go to it.  Comment.  Share your ideas, whether you are in Columbus or not.

Getting parking and going to camp

1. Columbus needs scooter parking.  (I know, that’s not news.)  The news is that a group of people have met and we’re working towards getting scooter parking.  (Technically scooter and motorcycle parking.)  I will post more news about this, including the new website that we’ll be using to coordinate our efforts and share information.  Details at 11.  Ha ha.  No, details tomorrow.

2. If you are interested in blogs/using the web/video/podcasting/ “social media tools” then you should attend the Pod Camp Ohio.  This event is free, and it’s in Hilliard.  http://www.podcampohio.com/about/  True it’s held the Saturday of Comfest, but you can always go another day or after the Pod Camp is over.  (It’s basically 9 AM – 6 PM.)  I will be attending.  Now I can tell everyone that I’m “going to camp.”  Camp is always fun, right?  Beginners are welcome.

3. Modern Vespa ride this Sunday.  North Market 12 noon.  Non-vespas are welcome.

Editorial comment: For various reasons, I am in a flipping good mood.  *happy dance*  Yay!!

Ride safe this weekend!

Ride to Work Day

Looking into the future… get ready for this year’s Ride To Work Day.  Mark your calendars, it’s Wednesday July 16th.  One of their key issues, BTW, is getting people to recognize scooters and motorcycles need our own parking.  Not like that’s ever an issue here in metro Columbus.  </sarcasm>

I may try to do a little video about it.  We shall see.

don’t park at Pearl Alley

sorry I was gone for a while.  just busy.  more normal posting will now resume.

In case you don’t ever go downtown, the City had a big crackdown on the parking in Pearl Alley.  Not surprisingly I think it’s…. ill-advised. If they did this at the same time (or really after) unveiling new secure scooter and motorcycle parking it would be a different story.

Dispatch article

Here are some thoughts by other people:

comments on Columbus Underground

Elephants on Bicycles

North Market parking tip

For all the readers in Columbus, here’s a great roundup of events going on, from the non-scooter-related but still wonderful site The Restaurant Widow.  (Even if you’re not a cook, she does local restaurant reviews.)  The event I’m most excited about is this Saturday’s North Market thing – food, local craftsy artists, excellent!

At North Market I’ve seen scooters park frequently on the SE side of the building, under the roof, outside, near the picnic tables.  (Basically behind the loading dock.)  Nothing to lock to, but I once parked there for several hours and not only did nothing happen to me, but nothing happened to the sweet helmet that was sitting on the nice white Vespa next to me.  And I think it would be difficult to pull up a car/truck/van next to that area, so it’s probably not a bad spot.  (Even for the paranoid like me.)  Please do not park at the bicycle racks, those are for bicycles.  And of course, if you ever have to ride on a sidewalk (*cough cough*) then be very careful, go slow or best is just to walk it – with the motor off.

Let the record show I am not a lawyer and my advice, legal or otherwise, is worth nothing.  🙂  Have a good weekend!

scooter locks

good lock     I am a little paranoid about someone stealing my scooter.  OK, a lot paranoid.  I garage Neela every night, and I try to always lock her up to the center pole in the garage.  Out in the real world I try my best to lock her up to something sturdy, although I don’t always have that option.  I was lucky enough that my last job had free scooter parking.  What that really meant is only 2 of us ever scootered to work and we could park by the guard shack, so the guards would keep an eye on it.

I don’t trust crappy Kryptonite locks.  I paid good money for a fancy lock from England. 

Continue reading

parking spotlight: Portland

Like all good city planners, Portland has been on the top of my travel list for a while now.  Smart Park is the city’s parking system.  They can “accomodate your bike [motorcycle] for only $30 per month.”  Compare that to the lowest listed car rate: $100 per month.  (Source: http://www.portlandonline.com/smartpark/index.cfm?c=35511&a=113934)

They recently created a “Motorcycle and Scooter Citizen Advisory Committee” which will cover topics like safety, parking, and education with speakers, data, and discussion.  That and more can be found at their site: http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=40219.  Their interactive google map could be better (I assume the red dots are number of spaces) but it’s wonderful to see all this attention paid to non-car modes of travel.  Their “Office of Transportation” lists every option you can think of, and probably a few you hadn’t.

parking spotlight: Chicago

Old Honda ad

This is an old Honda scooter ad.  Chicago has scooter parking regulations.  Scooters in the city of Chicago are prohibited from parking on the sidewalk, as well as bicycle racks.  But Chicago didn’t stop there… they have a brochure explaining parking, as well as paying!

Continue reading

Scooter parking article in Columbus Alive

I’m gonna be honest, today I’m feeling lazy.  (Translation: I have too much other stuff to do.)  So I’m just gonna quote the recent scooter parking article in Columbus Alive (shown in italics)…

“Columbus City Councilwoman Maryellen O’Shaughnessy agrees that the city needs to examine scooter parking.”  Yay! Support from a politician, this is key.

“What if you had one parking space [on city lots] that was allotted for scooters?” asked O’Shaughnessy, who often rides to work on a moped. “You could get quite a few in there. There are other cities that are doing this. What we need to do is study how they are accommodated in other cities.”

Read the full article at: http://www.columbusalive.com/?sec=living&story=alive/2007/1018/l-cylinder.html

Continue reading

parking spotlight: San Francisco

As you may or may not know, I’m trying to get scooter parking here in Columbus.  Several of us are volunteering our time* to learn what other cities do, and we hope to put together a “best practices guide” that will show Columbus examples to follow.  (I know, I know, wouldn’t it be great if we just did our own thing without copying others?  Maybe someday.)  So eventually that guide will go to City of Columbus Transportation engineers, although of course it will be useful for other municipalities, here in Central Ohio and beyond.  Leave a comment if you’d like to help, you don’t have to be in Columbus, you just have to know how to google.  🙂

There’s a transportation focused blog (for Columbus) that had a short posting on scooter parking in San Francisco, one of our example cities.  Good photos too.  Go read it: http://xingcolumbus.wordpress.com/2007/10/01/motorcyclescooter-parking-contd/

* It’s really kind of sad that no group or company has put together a comprehensive guide.  (Yes I’m looking at you, Piaggio and the Motorcycle Industry Council.)  There is this group (http://www.ridetowork.org/) that has some information, but it’s not comprehensive and it’s a 501c4.  This type of guide should already exist, so that we can focus on just getting a petition going and lobbying our politicians.  Instead we also have to educate the traffic engineers.

parking

Scooter parking is lacking here in Columbus, Ohio.  Heck, even motorcycle parking is lacking.  The exception would be OSU.  CSCC also has some designated motorcycle parking, but it’s not as extensive as OSU’s.  Last spring when I looked into CSCC parking they had not worked out the motorcycle parking permit (stickers) so it was all free.

On the other hand, OSU has maps, permits ($15 year round), and even two covered garages.  The garages also have visitor motorcycle parking, complete with a meter you feed.  A video about this is in the works, but for now, here’s a link!  http://tp.osu.edu/maps/MotorcycleMap.pdf  (Student car permit prices for one full year range from $75 – west campus only – to $556.  Faculty and staff car permit prices range from $76 to $606.)

scooter parking in Columbus

(Edited to add: Oh yea, forgot to mention… I wrote my recap of Scoot-A-Que.  View it here.   https://scooterfan.wordpress.com/scoot-a-que/)

I actually started this posting before the recent CU post.  More proof that there’s work to be done!  Unfortunately the news is not good http://www.columbusunderground.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=9809

Personally I don’t like taking away parking spaces from bikes, even if I don’t see bikes parked in the racks.  But our scooters are SO much more susceptible to theft than motorcycles, so many of us try to lock to something.  They actually make parking racks specifically for scooters/motorcycles. PTW parking  Here’s just one example. Continue reading

More proof that scooters are good

Here’s an article from BBC.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6962970.stm  In a nutshell – scooters take up less space than cars, both when moving and when parked.  So they help decrease congestion.

The article is really about proposed congestion pricing in NYC, which is based on the London system.  London’s system not only has exemptions* (so no fee) for motorcycles and scooters, but they also provide parking* for motorcycles and scooters.  (Gee, what a concept!)

No one would doubt that moving a parked car is damage or attempted theft, but pushing over a parked scooter apparently is no big deal.  One thing the article does not mention is that secure scooter parking is important because scooters are easier (than heavier motorcycles and waaay heavier cars) to hoist into a truck.

(*The source is Michael Horodniceanu and more answers can be found here: http://empirezone.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/06/08/taking-questions-a-traffic-expert-on-congestion-pricing/)

Free parking for scooters in NYC

Wouldn’t it be cool if Columbus had this one day?  Believe it or not, I am not the only person who cares about this.  From one of the relatively new Columbus Dispatch blogs: http://blog.dispatch.com/commuter/2007/08/put_it_in_park.html

If you are traveling to NYC or have friends there, here are the details: http://www.vespanomics.com/FreeParkingNYCLocations.cfm.

Here’s a video from a NYC news channel about it…