The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday December 9th

Scooters could need parking spaces

The Board of Trustees will decide whether to ban moped parking at campus bike racks in July. The measure would take effect in August.
Buy Photos The Board of Trustees will decide whether to ban moped parking at campus bike racks in July. The measure would take effect in August.

Due to a source error this story incorrectly stated when the Board of Trustees would vote for approval of a scooter parking regulation. The ordinance was voted on and unanimously approved in May. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.

When Barbara Ambros was in Japan she traveled mostly by scooter. She figured it would be an economical cheap way to make her 10-minute trip to UNC's campus.

Ambros a religious studies professor now rides her Honda Metropolitan scooter to campus about four times a week. She parks her moped at a bike rack located just outside of Saunders Hall.

While mopeds with engines larger than 50 cubic centimeters have to register as motorcycles a potential regulation which will go to the Board of Trustees for approval in July would require all motorized vehicles including Ambros' to register for parking spaces. Also no motorized vehicles would be allowed to operate on campus sidewalks.

A moped is a motorized scooter that does not have to be registered as a vehicle in North Carolina because it has a motor smaller than 50 cubic centimeters no external shifting device and is incapable of exceeding 30 miles per hour.

Parking officials have already started raising awareness of the potential regulation. Karen Jenkins-Cheek UNC parking services manager" stated in an e-mail that all motorized vehicles would have to register for motorcycle permits.

""It doesn't make much sense to use my scooter in this case"" Ambros said. It's actually a considerable amount of money. It's almost half of what it costs to park a car as a faculty member.""

This new regulation would require moped users to pay for parking rather than being able to chain up their vehicles at a bike rack location — even if the vehicle does require registration with the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles. Motorcycle permits cost $175 or about $50 if patrons also have car permits.

Randy Young" spokesman for the Department of Public Safety" said the regulation was proposed to control the many different types of powered vehicles on campus.

""There's a growing number of these types of vehicles"" he said. They have been found on bike racks displacing bicycles. They often create a safety hazard for pedestrians.""

Young also said it is not anticipated motorcycle permits would be sold out if moped operators waited until the regulation passed.

""To me it seems very counterproductive because the University is trying to reduce the car traffic on campus"" Ambros said. Less people will use scooters and more people will use cars.""

She also said she thinks the moped regulation is a poor way to regulate campus traffic.

""If their true intention is to prevent people from riding the scooters on the pathways and on the sidewalks"" what they should do is just basically issue tickets to people who ride around on the pathways.""


Contact the Features Editor at features@unc.edu.


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