September 21, 2019

Parking Issue Series: Motorcyclists struggle to find spots as drivers take their place

Parking is an eternal plague for the commuters of Webster University. Whether it’s slowly creeping behind students walking in the parking lot to see if they’ll leave their spot or illegally parking in an act of desperation, we’ve all felt the strain of trying to park our cars on campus. The problem extends further than those of us that drive cars, to the motorcyclists and scooter riders on campus.
Like cars, motorcycle and scooter riders have their own set of rules for parking on campus. The size of the engine, or “cc,” determines what type of parking pass a rider should display.
Any bikes or scooters less than 49 cc, like a Moped or Vespa, require a parking pass that can be obtained from Public Safety at no cost. However, any vehicles over that limit require a parking pass that costs the rider $120 per year for a full-time student ­— the same price as a car parking pass.
“If you have a small enough cc scooter you don’t need a (paid) parking pass,” said Becca Clark, a senior photography major and motorcycle rider. “Otherwise a motorcycle pass can only be obtained by purchasing a car pass. Lame, I know.”
Students that wish to ride both a motorcycle and drive a car must register both vehicles with public safety, but can use one pass for both, said Public Safety supervisor Scott Patterson.
While scooters can park next to bike racks, regular and motorcycle spaces in parking lots, motorcycles can only park in regular parking spaces or designated motorcycle spaces. There are three motorcycle spaces across campus: in lot D behind Webster Hall, in Lot K next to the deans’ space and in Lot H south of the Kirk House.
“There is always a car parked in the lot by Webster Hall,” said Erik Rounds, a senior film production major and scooter rider. “Most of the time, I think it’s just jerks parking there. I think it would be a lot easier to get people to stop doing it if they marked it with white strips that divide the spots.”
Patterson said while Public Safety does not catch many cars parked in spots designated for motorcycles, they do receive complaints.
“If we catch them, we just give them a ticket,” Patterson said. “We get complaints from students, but we can’t do much except to keep doing what we’re doing.”
Cars found parking in designated motorcycle spaces will receive a fine of $50 from Public Safety.
“Also, when scooters park there it’s kind of annoying since they’re allowed to park on the sidewalks and bike racks,” Clark said.

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