Can Motorcycles Park In Striped Areas?


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Riding a motorcycle gives a rider a sense of freedom; being out on the open road can really be a cool feeling. This sense of freedom, however, can sometimes give some motorcycle riders the wrong impression of what they can actually do with their motorcycles.

You may have noticed when you to go to the grocery store a motorcycle is parked in the striped areas of the parking lot. Whether or not you’ve done this yourself, you may be wondering if this is a legitimate way to park your motorcycle.

Can motorcycles park in striped areas? Motorcycles are not allowed to park in striped areas of any parking lot unless otherwise posted. Striped areas are designated for disability accessibility, emergency vehicles, or for pedestrian safety. Motorcycles are required to follow the same parking rules as any other motor vehicle.

It can be very tempting to park a motorcycle in striped areas because it seems harmless and is easily accessible for a motorcycle. The striped areas were meant to be free of parking for a reason and you run a risk of getting a ticket if you park there.

Why Motorcycles Can’t Park In Striped Areas

I’ve been riding motorcycles for well over a decade. I had a motorcycle while I was in college and parking was extremely limited by campus, so I often assumed parking in striped areas was okay. Through my own experience, talking with some cop friends, and doing some research, here’s what I found.

The two main reasons why motorcyclists justify parking in striped areas include not wanting to take up an entire parking space for their smaller vehicle. Also, other drivers may mistake the parking spot to be open and run into the motorcycle before knowing it was there.

While these are certainly legitimate concerns, parking on striped lines is still illegal in most states. Motorcycles do have a few legal exceptions, but motorcycles are still expected to abide by the same parking rules as any other motor vehicle.

It’s important to understand why striped lines are in parking lots in the first place. It’s illegal to park a motorcycle in striped areas because it obstructs disability/wheelchair accessibility.

There are a lot of vehicles that chauffeur persons bound to wheelchairs that ride in the back. These types of vehicles often have large ramps that come out from the side in order to get the person in the wheelchair out safely.

Striped lines are designated for those ramps. Should you park your motorcycle there, you limit a wheelchair bound individual and their ability to park and safely get out of their car.

The second reason parking on striped lines with a motorcycle is illegal is because you could be parked in an emergency vehicle zone. Not only are you blocking potential emergency vehicles from parking in the best and convenient place for them, but you also run the risk of damaging your motorcycle.

If you’re in the way of an emergency vehicle and parked illegally, the emergency vehicle has a right to simply push or run over your motorcycle with no repercussions on their part.

There are some striped areas in parking lots that aren’t designated for disability access or emergency vehicles. You’ll usually see some striped areas directly in front of the store and around sharp corners in the parking lot. These are indicators for drivers that they shouldn’t cut these corners from pedestrian safety.

Parking your motorcycle in these spots is still illegal even if it seems like they don’t have any specific reasons why they’re there. The lot owners had these lined off for a reason that may not be obvious to you, but it’s best to just stay away.

Can Motorcycles Park On Sidewalks?

Aside from parking your motorcycle on striped lines in a parking lot, you may also be wondering if you can park your motorcycle on sidewalks. You’ll hear and see a lot of motorcyclists doing this with no tickets.

Parking on sidewalks is also illegal, especially at businesses and grocery stores unless it is otherwise posted or approved from the business owner. Just like you can’t park a car on a sidewalk, you can’t park a motorcycle on one either.

This can block foot traffic and can block deliverers from delivering large packages to businesses. The last thing you want is pedestrians getting annoyed your motorcycle is parked on the sidewalk who also have easy access to vandalize your motorcycle. See my article here for more information about parking a motorcycle on sidewalks.

Tips For Parking Your Motorcycle Legally

It’s understandable to not want to park your motorcycle in a normal parking spot and resort to the striped lines. Drivers can see you better that way and it’s much more convenient.

Unfortunately, tickets can be pretty hefty if you park your motorcycle on striped lines. Walking an extra 20 – 30 feet is worth saving yourself from getting a $250 ticket from parking in the wrong spot.

There are a few things you can do to park legally and still get noticed by other drivers in the parking lot. The first would be to observe the parking lot and seeing if there is designated motorcycle parking; a lot of businesses have these, but they’re usually in less obvious places yet pretty close to the entrance.

The second option would be to find another motorcycle that is parked in a parking spot and share a spot with them. It’s usually okay to share a parking spot with another motorcycle and most motorcyclists don’t mind you doing so because it gives their bike a little more protection and notice from other drivers.

This rule does not apply to paid meter parking. Only one motorcycle is allowed per paid meter parking spot and the second motorcycle that attempts to park in the same spot will get a ticket. See my article here for more information about sharing a parking spot with another motorcyclist.

If these options aren’t available, you’ll simply need to park in a normal parking spot. While doing so, find a spot between two small cars so your motorcycle can easily be seen. Don’t pull in all the way and try to keep the back tire as noticeable as possible.

You can even have a neon colored flag sticking out from the back of your motorcycle so other drivers will see it much easier while looking for a spot to park in.

Individual States And Their Parking Rules

Some may wonder if these rules discussed apply to the state you live in. Generally, all states require motorcycles follow the same parking rules as other motor vehicles with a few states that have very specific exceptions.

I have yet to find a state where parking on striped lines with a motorcycle is legal. As a rule of thumb, never park on striped lines because you don’t know who you’ll be blocking and whose safety you’ll be compromising.

Conclusion

I get it. It would be extremely convenient to park in the striped areas in a parking lot, especially when you’re only going to be gone for two minutes. I admit I’ve done it myself. However, it is illegal and extremely inconsiderate of other people.

What do you guys think? Should there be exceptions to this rule and should it be more common practice for businesses to have designated motorcycle parking? Feel free to contact me, I’m happy to have a discussion about it!

Related Questions

Can you park a motorcycle on a hill? Parking a motorcycle on a hill is completely possible though you will need to take some extra precautions. Always make sure your motorcycle is facing up hill with the back tire against the curb. Do not ever face your motorcycle downhill.

Why is motorcycle insurance so high? The reason motorcycle insurance is so high for some people is because of the driver’s age, their driving record, the motorcycle CC’s, the motorcycle’s age, the motorcycle’s value, and the city you live in (crime rate).

This article has been reviewed in accordance with our editorial policy.

Kyle Cannon

Kyle currently works as a mechanical engineer and graduated with a minor in automotive engineering. He loves restoring motorcycles, has a vast knowledge of how they work, and has sold his restoration projects to customers from all over the United States.

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