Parking is always an important thing to consider when you own motor vehicles. Parking space is often limited, especially in big cities. And finding the perfect parking spot can be a difficult task.
So, it makes sense that motorcycle parking etiquette is something that a motorcycle owner should know. With limited parking availability, everyone will appreciate your considerate behavior, making everyday life more pleasant.
Table of contents
- So what are some of the etiquettes of motorcycle parking?
- 1. Do not park on sidewalks
- 2. Know how to park correctly when parking by the curb
- 3. Do not park your motorcycle in striped areas
- 4. Use spaces with a parking meter correctly.
- 5. Park only in designated motorcycle parking areas
- 6. Sharing parking with another motorcycle
- 7. Maintain proper spacing while parking in motorcycle spaces
- 8. Don’t be an obstruction.
- 9. Handling other people’s motorbikes and accessories
- 10. Lend a helping hand
So what are some of the etiquettes of motorcycle parking?
There are many etiquettes of motorcycle parking. Some important ones include not parking on the sidewalk, parking only in a designated motorcycle parking area, avoiding parking in striped areas, and more.
Etiquettes to follow while parking your motorbike:
1. Do not park on sidewalks
Motorcycles parked on sidewalks are very common, especially in crowded places. You often see motorcycles parked on sidewalks, especially in front of grocery stores or malls. Many of us are guilty of this.
Motorcycles are small-sized, and they don’t take up a lot of space. So, it is easy to do it without thinking too much.
But while this seems like a harmless habit, we should not park on sidewalks. It is not only bad etiquette but also illegal in most places.
Motorcyclists have to follow the same parking rules as any other motor vehicle. So this means no parking on sidewalks. Or you face getting a parking ticket as per parking laws.
Additionally, parking on the sidewalk inconveniences pedestrians. Your motorcycle could also get knocked down and damaged by people passing by.
2. Know how to park correctly when parking by the curb
You can park your motorcycle by the curb in most places. It is legal as long as no sign says “No Parking.”
But when you park by the curb, you should do it correctly. It is best to park only partially parallel to it.
Back your motorcycle up to the curb so the back tire touches it. Park at about a 45-degree angle. This will avoid parking parallel to the curb and ensure you’re not sticking straight out, either.
Parking correctly is helpful, especially if you are in a group. Moreover, busy curbs will make your motorbike more visible to passing cars.
3. Do not park your motorcycle in striped areas
If parking your motorbike in a parking lot, you may spot areas with striped lines. But even if they are empty, you should not park there.
Those striped line areas mark handicap accessibility. So unless you come under that category, it is illegal to park there. Moreover, it is also considered rude to do so.
It would be best if you also avoided parking near such areas. You should leave enough room so that anyone parked in the area can move in and out freely.
4. Use spaces with a parking meter correctly.
Metered parking is common in most places. While they are used for cars, it is important to note that they are also meant for motorcycles. And the rules are the same for both motorcycles and cars.
Do not park in the space between two cars thinking that you can get away with parking for free. This is illegal and risky. You might get away with it sometimes, but that doesn’t mean you should do it.
Just like a car, you need to pay for a metered space as a motorcycle owner.
Additionally, the owners of the cars where you have parked in between will not like your behavior. As mentioned, parking space is limited, and they are paying for their spot. When you park in between, you are taking their space illegally.
So they may report you or even knock over your motorbike and damage it.
5. Park only in designated motorcycle parking areas
A good etiquette as a responsible motorbike owner is to stick to the designated motorcycle parking structures. Depending on where you are, this can be motorcycle stalls, regular parking lots, a parking garage, and other specific lots.
For example, in Virginia, motorcycles cannot park at bike racks or on public sidewalks and in green spaces. This rule applies unless designated otherwise with signage. You also cannot park them in an area that blocks building access.
In fact, at most campus locations, you need a campus parking permit to park your vehicle inside the campus. And usually, only the permit holder can park in the area. Parking inside residence halls and other university buildings is not permitted either.
The same rules also often apply to residential areas. You usually need a residential parking sticker to park in the designated parking spots of residential areas.
6. Sharing parking with another motorcycle
The etiquette about sharing a parking spot with another motorcycle depends on the situation.
If you are parking in a normal, free parking space, you can usually share a parking spot with another motorcycle. This also saves space for bigger vehicles.
So, if you see another motorcycle parked in a free parking spot, you can assume that it’s okay to park your bike next to theirs. Make sure you keep their access open when you park.
But if it’s a paid parking spot, you will likely not share it with another motorcycle.
Again, it is important to note here that the law regarding sharing a parking space depends on the state or city.
Additionally, North Carolina allows multiple motorcycles to use a single paid meter. This is acceptable as long as they fit safely within the space meant for a four-wheel vehicle. And the meter is paid.
7. Maintain proper spacing while parking in motorcycle spaces
Wherever you park your motorbike, maintain proper spacing with the other motorcycles parked next to you. This is being considerate towards others and also saving you the hassle of being in a cramped space.
If you park too near to the other motorcycles, both you and the other motorcycle owners could face problems moving the bike. It also puts the parked motorcycles in danger of being scratched, damaged, or knocked down.
8. Don’t be an obstruction.
Wherever you are parking, always park, keeping in mind that you are sharing the space with other people. Do not hinder other people’s bikes by parking improperly. And do always signal your intentions to other drivers when you park.
Some shops may also allow you to park near their doors. In such cases as well, don’t be an obstruction to people or vehicles that need to pass by.
In South Carolina, being an obstruction while parking can even be illegal in many cases. For example, parking in front of a public or private driveway is illegal.
You also cannot park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
9. Handling other people’s motorbikes and accessories
Sometimes, you may need to move another person’s motorbike physically.
This could be because you need to move your motorcycle, and theirs is in the way. Or both motorcycles are parked in the same parking spot.
If this is the case, do handle their motorbikes properly. Make sure to always return the motorbike to its original position.
Moreover, as a general rule, do not touch other people’s motorcycle accessories. These may include their helmet, gloves, or jacket, which they have left on the bike.
As interesting as they look, it is bad etiquette to handle others’ things without permission. So do refrain and show respect for your fellow rider’s stuff.
10. Lend a helping hand
It is always good etiquette to help others when they are in trouble. And the same applies even to motorcycle parking.
The motorcycle community is all about camaraderie. So, if you meet a fellow rider struggling to park or get out of a parking space, do help them.
You can also always lend a helping hand if they are trying to load or unload heavy items on their motorbike.
Similarly, if you come across lost items, such as wallets, identification cards, keys, etc., in the parking lot, do turn them over to the parking office. Your fellow riders will be thankful for your kind action.
Knowing the correct motorcycle parking etiquette is more than saving yourself from parking fines or tickets. But it is also about making motorcycle riding a more pleasant experience for everyone.
As riders, we must try to remember and practice them wherever we can. A little consideration can go a long way.