Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Rant


A front-page article appeared in the Daily Iowan today on the topic of scooter parking in Iowa City. (Click the picture at left to read the full article.)
My response:
The DI reports, "He said he occasionally parks illegally in bike racks or in between parallel-parked cars, especially on Dubuque Street."

I was told by a city parking enforcement person that it is legal to park scooters in city bike racks, as long as it's actually IN the rack, and not next to it.

It's appalling that some scooter drivers are not able to drive safely and courteously when parking their vehicles at the bike racks. They should be punished, but their conscientious scooter-driving peers should not.

I would like to point out, also, that it's just as common to get "nearly bowled over" by a person riding their bicycle down the sidewalk to the bike rack. Perhaps we should consider moving the bike racks or providing easier access by ramps, so that neither bikes nor mopeds have to use the pedestrian area of the sidewalk to park.

Scooters and mopeds are a positive addition to our town, and we should not take steps to increase the difficulty of using one in Iowa City. These vehicles ease general parking congestion, reduce pollution, use less gas, cause less wear and tear to city streets, and give people mobility at a relatively low cost. Let's work on making the city friendlier and safer for people on 2-wheeled vehicles.

1 comment:

Mark said...

As a responsible biker and frequent downtown pedestrian, I too am routinely pissed off by the people who bike down the sidewalks. But I feel for them. This is one area where places like Madison have it all over I.C. Washington St. is a one-way, and Clinton and Iowa are massively congested with idiot drivers on cell phones who are NEVER, ever watching for other cars, let alone bikes. It's like biking through a DMZ. Something really needs to be done. But what? There's no room on Washington St. for a bike lane. Should people bike on Burlington to get downtown? Fat chance.