Archive for June 10th, 2008

Columbus Scooter Parking Debate

A group of downtown enthusiasts/scooter fans met this past Friday to discuss ways to enhance the urban experience and how it relates to moving people in, out and around downtown Columbus.

The brew-ha-ha started on May 30th when $40 tickets were issued to motorcycle and scooter drivers who were parked in Pearl Alley. The “no stopping” sings had been ignored by both four and two-wheeled vehicles, however only the two-wheeled vehicles were ticketed. Scooter and motorcycle riders parked between sets of dumpsters which had no impact on pedestrian traffic

Those who commute to work on motorized two-wheeled vehicles are seeking solutions. This group is interested in safe and secure parking, not unlike any other commuter. Their challenge, however, is unique, in that most parking garages prohibit scooter parking and securing a scooter is often essential, as some weigh less than 200 pounds.

The urban enthusiasts are seeing opportunity. There is an opportunity for the city to reduce congestion by promoting the use of two-wheeled vehicles. There’s an opportunity for downtown businesses to see increased foot traffic when more people arrive on two-wheeled vehicles – it leave more spaces open for four-wheeled vehicles.

And both groups see dollar signs. Two-wheeled commuters use less gas and therefore have a higher rate of expendable income. The city has the opportunity to see dollar signs as well since lighter, smaller vehicles are less destructive to roadways and lessened fuel consumption translates into better air quality for the city.

Considerations discussed at Friday’s meeting included designating specific two-wheeled vehicle areas in and around downtown that would offer no-cost parking. Private lots and city owned parking spaces were considered, as was the potential for advertisers, such as Harley Davidson or Vespa, as sponsors these various locations.

“Scooter Valet” was discussed as a way to highlight designated two-wheeled parking areas during high-profile events such as the Arts Festival, Gallery Hop, Pride, Comfest and so forth. Perhaps Scooter Valet will welcome two-wheeled motorists back into Pearl Alley when the city designates it as the first such no-cost parking option of its kind.

Watch the various Columbus blogs to stay up-to-date with the topic, or RSS feed the new Columbus Scooter Parking blog.

Read Full Post »