Moped parking rules change, now parked with motorcycles

Noah Brown

Notable changes were made to the way students and staff park on campus this year. Parking decals changed from hanging to vinyl. Mopeds, scooters and four wheelers are now required to park in motorcycle parking, and the entire parking system is transitioning to an online format. These changes have caused confusion for some while at the same time improving efficiency and removing the need to stand in line for hours to buy parking permits.

One of the most noticeable changes stems from a desire to lessen the contact between pedestrians and vehicles on campus. The removal of Student Center Lane placed SDSU one step closer to creating an all-walking campus. The other major change was to require mopeds, scooters and four wheelers to park in designated motorcycle parking areas.

Last year mopeds and scooters were allowed to park at bike racks and outside of buildings, provided they were not driven on sidewalks.

“We found that hardly anyone was walking their mopeds on the sidewalks,” said Derek Peterson, head of Parking Services. This created the need for a rule change.

“Mopeds are not generally a hazard to pedestrians, they go pretty slow,” said Bryce Kummer, a junior political science and economics double major and moped rider.

Those who ride mopeds found the change in rules perplexing.

“I was very confused at the beginning of the year,” Kummer said. “The whole reason I bought my moped was because of the convenience of getting around campus.”

Vehicles with an engine size less than 50 cubic centimeters are not required to be registered or licensed. This causes an unusual problem for the UPD, which writes tickets.

“Since there is no way to trace who owns the moped, we can’t write tickets, but the students and staff have been very good about following the new rules,” Peterson said. “We have not had to tow or impound any mopeds so far.”

The increased amount of vehicles that are required to park in motorcycle parking has caused overcrowding at the very few motorcycle parking areas on campus.

“There have been times that the lot [on Rotunda Lane] has been so full that I have had to leave,” Kummer said. “I feel bad for the motorcycle riders who had to buy a parking permit and now can’t find a spot because of all the mopeds.”

Peterson says there are plans to put in another motorcycle parking area on Rotunda Lane near the central heating plant once construction on the building is finished, expanding the number of motorcycle spots.

However, these spots will not be used once winter hits. Parking Services will have to convert motorcycle parking into an area for snow piles once the seasons change. This is bad news for those who were planning to tough it out as long as they could.

“I was planning on manning up for as long as possible,” Kummer said. “It really saves a lot of gas as opposed to searching for a parking spot in a car.”

Other changes are in full effect as well. The parking decals have transitioned from hanging cards to vinyl squares that stick to the inside of vehicle windshields. The change happened for a few reasons, not the least of which was students and staff getting pulled over for leaving decals hanging from rear view mirrors while driving. It also caused a related problem if people forgot to put the decal back up after taking it down, resulting in a ticket. The new vinyl decals remove some of the hassle and worry associated with the old ones.

This year the entire process of purchasing parking permits moved away from long lines and onto the Internet. In fact, permits were only available for purchase online this semester. Peterson said that around 7,000 permits were sold this year, with each one sent to its buyer’s mailbox through the click of a mouse.

Correction: Four wheelers are required to have a regular parking pass.