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FEMA survey: ‘Motorcycle parking should be free’

Let us choose where to park safely and don’t ‘punish’ us by making us pay for our smart mobility choice; Europe’s motorcyclists are very outspoken when it comes to motorcycle parking.

More and more authorities introduce restrictions on where a motorcycle can be parked. We also see a rise in the number of paid parking spaces dedicated to motorcycles. FEMA wanted to know how European motorcyclists feel about this and conducted an online survey on motorcycle parking.

The overall conclusion of the survey is that riders from all over Europe want to be able to park their bike anywhere, as long as it does not cause nuisance for pedestrians and other road users. An impressive 88.94% of the respondents say motorcycles should be allowed to be parked anywhere if they do not cause nuisance for pedestrians and other road users. Where in other surveys we sometimes see significant differences of opinion per country, on this issue riders from all over Europe are largely of the same opinion.

‘Using a motorcycle or any other powered two-wheeler to commute seriously reduces traffic jams and improves urban mobility. All we ask for when we arrive is a safe and easy to reach parking spot.’

Where to park
Local authorities may want to put some more effort in their communication with road users, since only 42% of the respondents say it is clear where it is allowed to park a motorcycle in the place they live. If it’s that hard to understand the rules in your own town or city, how are visitors to know where to park safely and legally? It gets even worse when we travel abroad: only 15% of the respondents say it is usually easy to find and understand the rules for motorcycle parking when travelling abroad. Again, communication is key.

Ride to work
When it comes to finding the best and safest place to park, it’s very clear we want parking spaces for motorcycles to be separated from car parking spaces, according to 67.08% of the respondents. When we ride our bike to school or to work, we find that many school boards and employers are not up to date with modern day traffic; only 38% of the respondents report the availability of dedicated motorcycle parking at their place of work or school. Using a motorcycle or any other powered two-wheeler to commute seriously reduces traffic jams and improves urban mobility. All we ask for when we arrive is a safe and easy to reach parking spot.

To pay or not to pay
Free parking for motorcyclists is – and should stay – the norm. By using a motorcycle, we help prevent unnecessary traffic jams, we help reduce emissions and once parked we hardly take up any public space, in comparison to cars. That does not mean paid motorcycle parking should not exist. A large group of riders (74% of the respondents) is willing to pay for motorcycle parking, as long as there are some facilities in place. The most requested facilities at paid parking areas are anti-theft measures and storage space for helmet and motorcycle clothing. Just having to pay for a parking spot, without any facilities in place, is no option; two thirds of the respondents (69,49%) is not willing to pay for motorcycle parking without facilities. So, how much are riders prepared to pay for motorcycle parking with extra facilities? 25% of the respondents doesn’t want to pay at all, 44% is prepared to pay a quarter of the price for a car, 22% is prepared to pay half the price for a car. Only 4% is willing to pay the for parking a bike as for parking a car.

Shared mobility
It’s an unwritten rule amongst motorcyclists that you park your bike in a spot where it doesn’t bother anybody, and it is not in the way of other road users and pedestrians. Of course, there is a ‘selfish’ element there as well: if your bike is parked away from other traffic and away from pedestrians, the changes of your motorcycle being damaged is very small. We now see that local authorities struggle with often wrongly parked powered two-wheelers as a result of hundreds (sometimes thousands) of so-called shared mobility vehicles that are introduced to the traffic mix by commercial parties. Shared mobility is the short-term rental use of a vehicle such as scooters, bicycles, mopeds et cetera. In almost every place where these vehicles are available, we see that they cause a nuisance, especially when it comes to parking. It seems that the fact that the vehicle doesn’t belong to the rider, means possible damage does not bother the rider. Also, social skills seem to have disappeared and vehicles like these are often simply ‘dumped’ anywhere at the end of the ride, often just in the middle of the sidewalk. This behaviour hurts motorcyclists as well, because when local authorities start acting against this nuisance, they tend to treat all powered two-wheelers the same, and suddenly bikes that are neatly parked on the sidewalk, are being fined as well.

You can read/download the full results of the survey by clicking here.

Written by Wim Taal

Top photograph courtesy of MotoADN

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