, Newburyport, MA

August 1, 2013

A place for motorcycles could ease parking frustrations

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

First and foremost, understand this is no solution but just a suggestion to help with some parking frustrations we all go through from time to time.

Have you ever driven around the block (State, Pleasant, Green, Merrimac) looking for a parking spot and see what looks like an open space only to find out when you pull up ... oops, there’s a single motorcycle or, worse, a tiny scooter parked there. They have the right, for sure. We’ve all been there, done that. This suggestion is in no way aimed against our two-wheeled friends (heck, I’ve got one). But think of how it would help if the city had some designated areas for motorcycle parking only. I’m not talking about using up current spaces. Well, maybe one or two. I’m really thinking about areas that are in awkward locations for automobiles to use.

Let me throw out some spots and let’s get some opinions.

(1) That little area at State and Essex in front of Chase & Lunt? (3 bikes?) Heck, there’s usually a illegally parked car there anyway.

(2) How about those two odd spots that are not parking spaces right before the alley in front of Macro Polo (2 bikes) and in front of Tetreault’s (2 bikes) on Pleasant Street.

Maybe take a little spot in front of Starbucks (3 bikes) and move the current spots up 10 feet? There’s room. Without going through all the maybes, you get the picture. Someday check what Hampton Beach does. They have an area for 30 or so bikes. I’m not saying we should do that, I’m just trying to plant some seeds to help the congestion.

One car parking spot can accommodate about four bikes. Now I thought I would inject some info for the very few who will say “we don’t want stinkin’ bikers.” According to Motorcyclist magazine their readership (is that a word?) has these demographics. Age: 30 percent are 45 to 54 and 48 percent are 55-plus! Household income: 20 percent, $50K–$75K, and 64 percent are $75,000 and over. The point is that these motorcycle enthusiast are mature and have a few bucks to spend in our great city. Think about it.

Bernie Casey