Thursday, August 26, 2010

City to try flat fee parking program for motorbikes

Sample permit courtest PDOT.
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PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland transportation division officials said they are going to try a pilot program that offers motorcycle and scooter riders a flat monthly fee to park in the city’s metered parking spots.

Riders have complained in the past that the stick-on tags from the current parking meters are too easily lost or stolen, resulting in parking tickets.

In a press release distributed Tuesday, the Portland Bureau of Transportation announced the pilot program would run for a year beginning September 1, 2010. Permits will cost $40 a month.

“The permit is to be used for limited, short-term visits in a meter district and not to be used for long-term commuter parking. The motorcycle or moped may stay on the blockface only for the time limit of the meter, after which it must be moved either across the street or to a different block.,” the press release stated.

Cheryl Kuck, Public Information Officer for the bureau, told KATU News the $40 figure was arrived at using information from parking enforcement officers and other feedback the city has received.

Kuck said the permit is aimed at riders who come into downtown a few times a week for a few hours at a time.

Cycles and scooter owners must attach a numbered permit plate to their vehicle. Permits must match the license plate of the registered user’s motorbike.

Violators who go overtime in their parking space can be penalized with suspension or revocation from the program.

Current Portland Mayor Sam Adams, who is well-known for advocating bicycling in the city, is also a motorcyclist. He has met with local riders at town-hall meetings when he was a city commissioner to hear their concerns. Parking issues have been a primary topic and the city has added motorbike-only parking spots at various locations around the city.

Officials did note that two-wheeled commuters can also purchase monthly SmartPark garage permits for $30 but that does not allow the vehicles to use curbside or street parking without paying parking meters.

Portland has a robust motorbike and scooter community as well as a Motorcycle and Scooter Citizen Advisory Committee that works with the Bureau of Transportation. Kuck said the advisory committee supports the pilot program.

Motorbike riders can apply for a permit here (PDF link).

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