City of Austin rolls out free parking for scooters!

Tue, Jul 21, 2009

Motorcycle, Scooter

On July 17th., the City of of Austin passed a new scooter and motorcycle ordinance that has me VERY excited.  Austin City Connection had a little something to say about it and it goes like this:
“Recent City Council action on the new parking ordinance included an incentive to reduce carbon emissions of motorists in the urban core.  Now two-wheeled vehicles, including motorcycles, mopeds and scooters will be allowed to park for free for up to 12 hours per day in parking areas at all City of Austin meters and pay stations”.

Now parking has never been easier for those working in Austin, especially downtown. I hope this trend catches on in other cities as well. :)

I do have one problem however… It might be a bit premature to say we are “reducing carbon emissions” with this ordinance.  There are many factors that may make this a truth or untruth.  Your old, 1969 Kawasaki Mach III motorcycle is going to produce more carbon emissions than a Chevy Volt buzzing around downtown, but your 2009 Yamaha T-Max with its electronic fuel injection and catalyzed muffler is going to burn cleaner than most of the 4 wheeled vehicles downtown.  I would have said “this ordinance was to reduce congestion”.  The idea is to get people used to riding smaller vehicles downtown.  A lightweight vehicle with a smaller footprint is also easier to power with alternative fuels, so as people get used to riding smaller they are also opening the market up for more opportunities in the electric car sector.  If you reward people for riding 2-wheelers to get them out of Expeditions, the move to a tiny electric car would seem like an upgrade… or at least that seems logical to me.

Shout out to Fred Brown for the scoop!  Although… I’m a bit chagrined that my inside girl (madtolive) didn’t hook us up with the supa-fresh, as-it-was-happening scoop.  Wassup Jaz?  You don’t call, you don’t write, you don’t even give us the scoop no more!  :P~

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10 Responses to “City of Austin rolls out free parking for scooters!”

  1. Tim Says:



  2. Adam Says:

    Carbon (CO2) emissions are pretty much linearly tied to fuel efficiency/mpg. CxHy + (x+y/4)O2 -> X CO2 + (Y/2) H20 is the ideal equation for combustion of hydrocarbons. In other words, you can't avoid CO2, and you can't really get extra by burning inefficiently.

    So while scooters aren't the best on some emissions, it's a safe bet that a 70mpg scooter will emit less CO2 than a30mpg car.


  3. samala Says:

    WOW! Now if Portland, Oregon would follow Austin's lead…


  4. ScooterScoop Says:

    What? Our sister city isn't on the free scooter parking yet? Soon, I'm sure, or at least I hope.


  5. mike Says:

    No portland runs it's government on parking money. I have lived all over the country and have never seen a place so aggressive when it comes to parking enforcement. last week they raised the hourly rate and started charging for sunday parking. on a brighter note the PMC parking garages offer 2 wheel parking for 3.50 all day or 40.00 a month


  6. hilltopper Says:

    Cincinnati launched a dedicated two-wheeler (scooter and motorcycle) parking space program last fall.
    It began with free parking, but now I think it is metered.
    They are in very good locations.
    Parking meters in Cinci are very reasonable, so it's still a good deal!


  7. ScooterScoop Says:

    Cool! Looks like you've had it for about a year now, eh? I like the parking signs and from the website it looks like they are listening to suggestions on where to put 2-wheeler parking. Great to hear!


  8. Anonymous Says:

    Good to see, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia motorbikes / scooters etc are allowed to park on the footpath (sidewalk) free for as long as they want in the CBD. It's not so much the volatile fuel prices, but skyrocketing parking prices and the lack there-of that had pushed this and it's good to see – should be more of it !!!


  9. ben Says:

    What's the actual rule on where you can park your bike downtown? Sidewalks? Only metered parking spaces?


  10. mwb Says:

    I thought we could park scooters on the sidewalk provided they are not in the way of pedestrians. I just got 2 tickets for it in the downtown area. Anyone know what’s up with that?


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