Riding a motorcycle gives a rider a sense of freedom; being out on the open road can really be a cool feeling. The sense of freedom, however, can sometimes give some motorcycle drivers the wrong impression of what they can actually do with their motorcycles.
You may have noticed when you to go to the grocery store or some place similar that motorcycles are 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.
So, 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 handicap accessibility, emergency vehicles, or for parked vehicle 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 high risk of getting a hefty ticket if you park there.
Why Motorcycles Can’t Park In Striped Areas
It’s very easy to think that striped areas in parking lots are a convenient, easy way to park your motorcycle. You’ll hear of a lot of motorcyclists who have parked on the striped lines plenty of times and have never gotten a ticket.
There are usually two big reasons why motorcycles park in places like this with the first being that motorcyclists don’t want to take up a whole parking space for their vehicle which is much smaller than a car.
The second reason people justify parking their motorcycle there is because they don’t want to run the chance of a car driver thinking the spot the motorcycle is parked in is open and drive in only to ram the back of the motorcycle.
While these are certainly legitimate concerns, parking on striped lines is still illegal in most states. Motorcycles have a few exceptions for driving laws apart from other motor vehicles, but motorcycles are still expected to abide by the same parking rules as any other motor vehicle.
The first biggest reason it is illegal to park on striped lines in a parking lot with a motorcycle is due to the possibility of obstructing handicap accessibility. There are striped lines in the parking lot surrounding a handicap spot for a reason and it’s not for you to park your motorcycle.
There are a lot of handicap vehicles who 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.
The striped lines are designated for those ramps; they’re a signal for drivers around that they should be aware those lines for that very reason. Should you park your motorcycle there, you limit a wheelchair bound individual to where they can park and safely get out of their car.
You may think that some of the places you park your motorcycle wouldn’t be in the way of any ramps if you park in certain places between the stalls. That way you’re not obstructing anyone’s accessibility, right? Wrong. A lot of parking lots have striped lines between handicap parking spots so wheelchairs have a place to move without having to go out in the busier traffic in the parking lot.
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 tip or possibly run over your motorcycle with no repercussions on their part. The damages will all be on you because you parked it illegally which can be a complete mess with insurance.
There are some striped parts of parking lots that are clearly not for handicap accessibility or for emergency vehicles. Slivers of corners that couldn’t possibly be big enough to turn into a parking spot are lined off as well as sharp corners in parking lot routes so drivers don’t cut those corners and hit a car are common places to see stripes.
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 manager. 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 make a few pedestrians mad. It can also 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.
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 for you as the driver.
Unfortunately tickets can be pretty hefty if you park your motorcycle on the 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.
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 car drivers will see it much easier while looking for a spot to park in. See my article here for more information about sharing a parking spot with another motorcyclist.
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’re blocking and who you’ll annoy with the wrong temper.
Don’t risk your motorcycle getting a ticket, having it get hit by a car cutting a corner, or having it get hit by a handicap vehicle ramp. Take the proper safety precautions when parking in a normal parking spot and you’ll be just fine.
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, the city you live in (crime rate). Click here to see my article for more info.