Motorcycle lobby pushes for free parking in Vancouver

City spending $100,000 this year on motorcycle, scooter parking

Vancouverites who ride gas-powered scooters and motorcycles are pleased the city has established designated parking spots and price breaks for their vehicles, but they maintain they should be allowed to park for free.

What we would prefer is free motorcycle parking for mopeds, scooters, everything, said Adele Tompkins, executive director of the B.C. Coalition of Motorcyclists. Now [the city is] taking it and turning it into a green thing.

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The city has established more than 150 new, dedicated motorcycle and scooter parking spots in the past year, with another 50 added by the end of the year. They are marked with green-topped meters and most are on Commercial Drive and downtown.

According to a city council decision made last year, electric scooters can be parked in the new spots for free while gas-powered motorcycles and scooters pay half price when the riders pay by phone. They can park in the spot all day. Were really hoping to promote electric vehicles, said Carli Edwards, the citys manager of neighbourhood parking and transportation. So if youre thinking of buying a scooter, go out and buy an electric one.

No car parking spots have been lost to create the scooter and motorcycle spaces. Instead, the triangle of unused space between crosswalks and car spots have been painted white, marked with green-topped meters and motorcycle parking signs.

Gas-powered motorcycle and scooter drivers who dont pay by phone pay the regular rate to park in the designated spots. More than one motorcycle can share a single spot with only one meter needed. But if the time expires, enforcement officers ticket all vehicles parked there.

The city is spending $500 to establish each dedicated spot, for a total of $100,000 this year. It aims to add 100 additional designated spots each year. Edwards said it was too early for revenue estimates from the new spots.

Motorcyclist and scooter rider Ian Tootill, who was also a past opponent of photo radar, says the city chose an expensive method of establishing the spots, which is why it needs to charge gas-powered scooter drivers and motorcyclists. He said a rally is planned for next year to push for free motorcyle and scooter parking.

Tompkins said motorcyclists should park for free because their vehicles emit less carbon dioxide than cars, cause less wear and tear on roads, use less fossil fuels, create lest waste to be scrapped and take up less space.

Registered electric scooters are not permitted to park on city sidewalks, boulevards or undesignated corner clearances.

Unregistered electric-assist bikes are not permitted to park in regular metered spots. They are permitted to park at bicycle racks, as long as they dont block pedestrians.

Electric scooter drivers who park in regular spots pay a 25 per cent discount of the listed meter rate if they pay by phone, the regular rate if they pay at the meter. Drivers of gas-powered motorcycles and scooters pay 50 per cent of the meter rate by phone, or the regular rate at the meter.

crossi@vancourier.com

Twitter: @Cheryl_Rossi

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