We're all better off when there's dedicated, reliable motorcycle parking.
Did you learn early on in your motorcycle career never to pull to the very back of a parking space? Have you ever parked your motorcycle in a sea of cars, and looked back to watch a car swinging into a spot they thought was empty, only to see your bike at the very last minute, or too late? Has your street-parked bike been backed into by an errant idiot parallel parker?
Those of us who use our motorcycles as transportation to work, to the store, to run errands, and not just for joy riding (every ride is a joy ride isn’t it?), can make a difference when it comes to motorcycle-specific parking.
It is safer for those of us on two wheels: safer for our bikes and for our bodies, to be separated in parking lots from the large metal boxes that frequent our roadways. Dedicated motorcycle parking can not only help prevent property and bodily damage, but can also help encourage other motorcyclists to ride by making all of us feel welcome.
If there are places you normally ride to which do not have dedicated motorcycle parking, have you ever advocated for it? I think we all should!
For one, the plaza where I do my grocery shopping is akin to Thunderdome from a traffic perspective, so I am contacting the plaza management to see if they will dedicate some motorcycle parking spots, perhaps four in each “quadrant,” so that those of us on two wheels feel safer and a bit more welcome. Certainly the parking can be temporary (April–November, say, for the snowy climates). You can find out the name of the management company by asking around at the places where you park.
If these places are not private property but instead town or city street parking, try calling your local town or city department of transportation offices to request motorcycle-only parking on the street. Write letters and encourage your riding friends to do the same. Encourage businesses you frequent to fight for motorcycle parking too; it’s in their best interests when their customers have parking they can count on! We’re all better off when we’re not parking near cages. Motorbikes can be tucked into places where cars cannot fit, so they can utilize paved space as motorcycle parking that would otherwise be wasted.
Remember, and use these points in your letters and phone calls:
Dedicated motorcycle parking:
- Makes us all safer
- Saves space
- Makes riders feel welcome in your city and your establishment
- Encourages riders to spend their money at your store
- Creates a denser parking environment: more shoppers per square foot
- Encourages more people to ride, minimizing traffic
Good luck, and let us know about any progress you make!