Thursday, September 24, 2009

When motorbikes park on the sidewalk

On my morning jog through the streets of Lancaster I stopped to appreciate this Ducati Supersport 750 parked on the sidewalk on North Duke Street. This isn't so much a photo of another Ducati Supersport as it is another illustration of how good motorcycles look when they are parked on the sidewalk.

I would like to know who owns this bike. I presume that the owner also owns the house as this bike is often parked here. I like both the house and the bike and perhaps would like to see inside the house as much as I would like to ride the bike.

But my ambitions for this house and this bike are not the point of this writing. Neither the bike pictured or the house behind it have specifically motivated me to write. I am motivated most by the generally good combination of bikes and sidewalks. And I'm wondering when and where it is legal to park a bike on the sidewalk.

Presumably, in this case, it is legal for a homeowner to park their bike on the sidewalk in front of their house. This bike has been there for a long time and never receives a ticket. But what would happen one block south if the same bike was parked on the sidewalk in front of Square One Coffee? The bike would look just as good, that is for sure, but would it get a ticket?

I don't know. I tried to look up parking laws on the city website and learned that "No person shall park a vehicle in such a manner that the vehicle blocks the free uninterrupted flow of pedestrian traffic on a sidewalk. Any vehicle which is unlawfully parked so as to block a sidewalk may be removed from that area by towing and may be reclaimed by the vehicle owner upon payment of the towing costs."

And yet I am unable to draw any conclusion about the legality of parking a motorcycle on the sidewalk from that code. It seems like a lot is left to the discretion of a ticketing officer to decide if and when a motorcycle parked on a sidewalk is obstructing pedestrian traffic.

For sure, I have visited cities in other countries where the sidewalks are lined with both motorcycles and bicycles. I have appreciated the decoration that these vehicles add to the street scape just as I enjoy the site of a Superspot 750 in front of a well-maintained house.

And so, perhaps, I'll give sidewalk parking a try with my motorbike and keep you posted on what happens.

So long as my bike is not clearly obstructing foot traffic, I have a good defense argument that the code remains unclear on the matter. At least for every bike parked on the sidewalk one more over-sized parking space is left free for a car.


  1. Ted! So glad to see you (even if it's only online...) Congratulations on the impressive business venture. You exude success and always have. We miss you. Come see my blog! It is to knitting what yours apparently is to motorcycling.

  2. Thanks for the affirmation. I love your blog... I'll make sure that Trit checks it out as well.

  3. ted this bike is one of the little highlights of my day. I'm especially excited because it sits directly in the middle of my short walk from our new apartment to square 1.
    now if only it were a Monster...

  4. I can’t imagine focusing long enough to research; much less write this kind of article. You’ve outdone yourself with this material. This is great content. motorcycle tours