News Boston: Motorcycles Get VIP Parking

Boston: Motorcycles Get VIP Parking

Motorcycle Commuter

Metropolitan traffic congestion is an ever-growing concern that perplexes most U.S. cities, frustrating urban planners and residents alike.

Increasing the use of two-wheel transportation is a simple alternative to reducing traffic congestion that urban commuters face daily across America.

For the growing number of residents living in metro Boston looking for the same solution to their in-town transportation challenges, switching to motor scooters is a very appealing option.

However, with the switch, urban commuters sometimes find it difficult to locate designated parking areas, which prompted Boston to implement a motor scooter parking program modeled after successful efforts in other major metropolitan cities.

On August 26, the city of Boston began executing a motor scooter and motorcycle on-street parking pilot program to better accommodate two-wheel commuting in the city. Scooter enthusiasts will now find 40 spaces designated for scooter and motorcycle parking throughout the Back Bay area.

The spaces are metered and pro-rated with 25 cents buying one hour instead of the standard 15 minutes. For commuters, the meters will be on from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and off at nights. Additionally, the parking spots do not have a time limit, eliminating the need to feed the meter.

“I’d like to congratulate Mayor Thomas Menino on his decision to execute a two-wheel parking program for the city of Boston,” said Paolo Timoni, president and CEO of Piaggio Group Americas, importers of Vespa motor scooters.

“With better fuel economy than hybrid cars, scooters are not only a viable solution when it comes to reducing traffic congestion, but equally effective at reducing America’s oil consumption and protecting our environment.”

“With this new initiative, therefore, Mayor Thomas Menino has also taken a concrete step to help Bostonians to reduce their oil consumption and carbon footprint. I can only hope that more cities will follow Boston’s example and offer similar programs for two-wheel commuters.”

In 2007 Piaggio Group Americas conducted a traffic model study in New York City in response to the growing concerns about traffic congestion. The results showed by shifting the daytime vehicle mix to 80 percent cars / 20 percent scooters, the following would result annually:

  • A total decrease in delay of more than 4.6 million hours per year – which translates to time savings of nearly 100 working hours per person;
  • Reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 26,000 tons (52,000,000-pounds) per year;
  • A decrease in fuel consumption by more than 2.5 million gallons per year
  • A total savings for New York City of more than $122 million per year in fuel and labor productivity.

In addition to Boston, many other US metropolitan cities already have programs and incentives for two-wheel commuters. San Francisco has more than 1,000 designated parking spaces and areas for motor scooters, and several other cities have orchestrated motor scooter commuter days, including Atlanta and Philadelphia.

On a national level, the annual Ride to Work Day (set for June 20, 2011; see more at (www.ridetowork.org) continues to raise the visibility of two-wheel commuting and demonstrates how motor scooters and motorcycles make parking easier and help traffic flow.

For more information about the benefits of two-wheel transportation, visit vespausa.com and click on the Vespanomics section.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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