Motorcycles and scooters are important components of the diverse transportation system we are privileged to have in Philadelphia, notes Philadelphia Parking Authority Exec. Dir. Vincent Fenerty. As a result, Fenerty has announced a pilot program to address the parking needs of motorcycles and scooters.
Fenerty said, “The pilot program will run through the end of October 2014, at which time it will be reevaluated based on data collected during the pilot period and from feedback from all stakeholders.
“Each element of the system, including pedestrians, bicyclists, automobiles, mass-transit vehicles and delivery vehicles, as well as motorcycles and scooters, have a valid, though sometimes conflicting, claim on the public space. PPA and the City of Philadelphia have worked to balance the demands of each stakeholder, while providing adequate access and safety for all others.
“With that in mind:
1. On residential blocks, including those in Center City and University City which are posted for Residential Permit Parking, motorcycles and scooters will be permitted to park on sidewalks in front of the operator’s residence under the following conditions:
a. If the block is posted for RPP the motorcycle or scooter with a valid RPP permit for that district. (A Day Pass or Temporary RPP permit issued to a resident’s visitors will also be honored.)
b. The vehicle must be parked against the building and may not interfere with pedestrian travel.
c. The operator must have the permission of the property owner.
d. Motorcycles and scooters must be turned off and walked from the curb to the place it is parked on the sidewalk.
e. On unregulated residential blocks motorcycles or scooters may park in front of their home without a permit as long as the other conditions are met.
2. On commercial streets including all of Center City and University City not posted for RPP, motorcycles and scooters may not park on sidewalks. The density of pedestrian traffic in those areas does not permit those vehicles to be parked on the sidewalk safely. The potential for conflict between pedestrians and motorized vehicles is too great and creates a dangerous condition for both. Additionally, scooter riders have indicated that securing their scooter is a priority. That cannot be accomplished on the sidewalk.
To accommodate motorcycles and scooters in those areas the following steps are being taken.
a. PPA has installed 47 corrals accommodating 180 motorcycles or scooters in Center City and University City.
b. The Authority will review the suggestions submitted through our Facebook page to determine which are appropriate for additional corrals to be installed.
c. Because securing scooters was a major priority for those representing scooter riders, corrals will be equipped with a mechanism to lock the motorcycle or scooter to a post at the curb.
d. During the trial period, there will be no charge to park motorcycles or scooters in the designated corrals. Those individuals who purchased virtual permits to park on the street may apply for a refund of the prorated remaining value of the permit.
e. Motorcycles or scooters parked in metered spaces outside of the designated corrals must pay the required meter fee or abide by other posted parking restrictions.
f. PPA will increase enforcement of other vehicles illegally parked in motorcycle/scooter zones.
PPA will survey corrals during the pilot period to assess demand and the appropriateness of corral locations. We will also continue to welcome feedback from motorcycle or scooter operators on issues which may arise.
3. PPA’s AutoPark at the Gallery garage at 9th & Filbert Streets has been equipped with a designated area on the street level for securely parking motorcycles and scooters. The AutoPark at Old City (2nd & Sansom Streets), AutoPark at Jefferson (10th & Ludlow Streets) and the lot at 19th & Callowhill Streets will have the locking devices installed shortly.
Scooters may park at these facilities for a daily, flat rate of $5.00.
4. Use Social Media and PPA website to provide information and receive feedback on the plan. These digital media can be used to push information to people and act as a passive resource for those seeking answers to specific questions.
a. Set-up a motorcycle/scooter page on the PPA website to provide comprehensive information on the rules for parking two-wheeled motorized vehicles. It will also include a map of motorcycle-scooter corrals with the number of spaces at each location.
c. Use Twitter and Facebook to announce new or relocated corrals and provide progress on the installation of locking devices at corrals.
d. Establish a Twitter hashtag to report vehicles illegally parked in motorcycle/scooter corrals.
“At the end of the trial period we will review the data collected with the motorcycle/scooter coalition to determine how effectively these efforts met their needs, Fenerty advised. “A decision will then be made on which elements worked best and which need more attention. A parking fee structure will also be developed for use of the corrals going forward.
“This plan will not give everyone what they want. There are strong voices to permit motorcycles and scooters to park on sidewalks throughout the city. There are equally strong voices which believe they should not be permitted on sidewalks anywhere. We believe this is a reasonable approach which provides safe parking areas for motorcycles and scooters while not jeopardizing pedestrian safety.
“Finally, the pilot program is designed to allow us to test these ideas and make adjustments as we move along. It is not the end of the conversation. We will always welcome suggestions for improvement. But it is also important to recognize that all the diverse transportation needs must be considered in making these decisions and public safety must be a primary concern.”