Moped parking: Bellingham
When the weather’s nice, scooters and motorcycles are out and about in the ‘Ham. Where they park, well, that’s a good question.
I was downtown the other day having lunch, and found myself in a quandry: there’s a lot with a scooter-size marked space, but the public can only park there on weekends. There are metered spaces for cars, but they’re scarce and expensive.
There are two bicycle racks on the sidewalk,in front of the lunch place, with a space between them that the GTS fits perfectly. But in most places parking a scooter or motorcycle on the sidewalk is illegal.
I decide the sidewalk is the lesser risk, and take a table where I can keep an eye on the GTS. If it gets ticketed, I’ll simply request a hearing and hope the judge will be somewhat sympathetic.
Just as I’m finishing my smoked salmon chowder, the light bar of a parking-enforcement 3-wheeler appears over the tops of the parked cars. It stops.
But the officer doesn’t get out. The 3-wheeler continues to the end of the block and turns right. No ticket!
Another time, I was on my way to the library and trying to find a parking place at the Civic Center (Yes, Bellingham has a Civic Center. Seattle doesn’t. Neither does Portland). The city has replaced parking meters in this part of town with kiosks. But unlike most cities Bellingham has numbered all the spaces and requires you to enter the number when you pay for parking. That’s either one vehicle per space, which hacks off the cagers, or paying so others can park free, which hacks me off.
I spied a red Honda motorcycle parked in front of the last car in a parking cutout outside he metered zone. There’s room next to the Honda, and there’s often some safety in numbers, so I go for it.
Happily, no ticket. But then the pavement marking has me thinking we were actually in a legitimate space. I guess.
Of course, it would be nice to be able to park somewhere and know you’re doing it legally, and safely. Even though there’s a shortage of road paint, it’s not that difficult to divide one car space into multiple scooter/MC spots. Is it?