One of the things I both love and loathe about scootering is parking.  In theory, parking is no big deal.  Use designated parking, if now motorcycle parking is provided.  Bear in mind, this is not a 50cc scooter I can readily throw up near a bike rack.  Generally, I don't have a problem walking, so I'll put the scooter in a safe spot further away from the entrance so as not to offend someone into doing something stupid (like trying to move my scooter without permission, which I've seen done twice now).  Sometimes, this just isn't possible.  

Lately, I've been trying to get back into shape, so 2 or 3 days a week, I'm going down to a public park area in Alpharetta to go rollerblading on a 12 mile loop of nice protected patch for bikes pedestrians and rollerblades.  So, I throw the skates into the saddle bags, and off I go.   The parking area presents a challenge though.  There is a paved loop through the parking area, but the normal car spaces are all gravel, making these less than ideal for the scooter.  There are however two handicapped spaces that are paved.  Also less than ideal.  Then there is a single paved triangle to the left side of the handicapped spaces.  This triangle is not marked with no parking stripes,  and under every GA law covering parking is perfectly legitimate for usage by a scooter or motorcycle.  Even so, I park as far back and to the left as I can so that anyone using the handicapped spot will not be impacted by my usage of the space.  I started using this space, after another patron of the park complained to me because I had tucked the bike into a gravel space, preventing a 'car' from using the space.

So last night, I return to the bike to find an Alpharetta police officer sitting in his cruiser in the space behind my bike.  Turns out another patron, not handicapped, was offended by the usage of the space and had called the police.  The officer and I talked briefly, and he confirmed what I thought, that I was not in violation of the law, and in his opinion I had shown courtesy in trying to be clear of impacting any other patron, so he did not issue any citation, but suggested using a normal space.  I explained about the earlier situation, he just shrugged and said that unfortunately, bikes offend many drivers in general.  

He's right.  There is nothing I can do in that situation, so I will continue to use the space until some offended patron pushes Alpharetta into striping the area as no parking, which I have no doubt will happen (nor did the officer).

All of this raises the issue though.  When parking is laid out, there is very little consideration of motorcycle parking taken into account, and it is left to us to improvise.  These improvised parking jobs seem to offend some drivers, just creating further antagonism.  It's a nasty circle that needs to broken.  Looks like it's time for a little more organized advocacy in our city councils.

Content by dru_satori, edited on a Mac using SandVox (because I'm lazy)