Portland council creates more parking for motorcycles

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PORTLAND — The city is adding more free on-street parking for mopeds and motorcycles.

Last year, 31 spots were created on the peninsula specifically for two-wheeled motorized vehicles. The spaces were added in no-parking areas and spots that were too small for cars to park.

City Councilor Kevin Donoghue said the designated parking for mopeds and motorcycles have proved popular.

“They have been well occupied,” Donoghue said Monday night. “We are now seeking to add 22 more (spots) in the downtown district.”

Motorcycles and mopeds will be allowed to park for up to 10 hours in the non-metered spots.

Robert Hains told councilors he thought they were “schizophrenic” about motorcycles: cracking down on the noise level of motorcycles in town, yet providing them with more free parking.

Donoghue also said that in Boston, motorcycle and moped spaces are metered and charged 25 cents an hour. He said that given the size of that city compared to Portland, it’s appropriate for Portland spaces to be free of charge.

The spots were originally created, in part, to help free up standard parking spots for cars. Donoghue said that because many parking garages do not allow motorcycles, the 10-hour on-street spots provide spaces for commuters to park without having to worry about the traditional one- or two-hour parking limits.

The City Council approved the parking 7-0, with Councilors Dory Waxman and David Marshall absent.

The new moped and motorcycle spaces are being added on Commercial Street at Chandler’s Wharf, Commercial Street at Cross Street, Federal Street at Market Street, High Street at Deering Street, Market Street at Middle Street, Spring Street near Union Street and Oak Street at Free Street.

Kate Bucklin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or kbucklin@theforecaster.net