One of the best things about riding a motorcycle is how simple it is to maneuver and how quickly you can get around. This is why a lot of people choose riding a motorcycle as their main source of transportation.
There are a few rules about motorcycles that are a bit unclear, and some of those unknown rules apply to parking. Parking a motorcycle is much easier than parking a car, but you may be left wondering what the legality and rules are about motorcycle parking.
How many motorcycles can legally park in a single parking space? Most states do not clarify about how many motorcycles can legally park in a single parking space. However, it is permissible in most places to park two motorcycles in a single parking space. Anything more than that can get crowded and can be dangerous for the parked motorcycles as well as the cars parked around them.
With that being said, there’s a lot more to double parking motorcycles in a single spot than simply just pulling in and calling it good. You need to be courteous to the other drivers around you and do it correctly.
How To Legally Park Multiple Motorcycles In One Space
As a motorcycle rider myself, it’s such a relief knowing that if the other motorcyclists is okay with it, that I can share a parking spot with them.
Motorcycles are expected to follow the same traffic rules as any other vehicle and that includes parking. However, sharing a parking spot with another motorcycle is usually an exception because it saves a lot of space and leaves an extra spot open for someone driving a car.
If you plan on double parking your motorcycles, there are a few things you need to do to make sure your motorcycle isn’t harmed and to ensure the other vehicles around aren’t harmed either. First, make sure that there’s enough room for you to even park in the same space as another motorcyclists. Some parking spots are wider than others.
If you are riding with a fellow motorcycle enthusiast, parking the two motorcycles in a single space should be fairly easy. Make sure there is room for both of you to safely dismount your motorcycles as well as safely mount and back out of the spots when you come back.
Assess the situation if you come across a parking spot already taken up by another motorcycle in which you don’t know the owner. Most motorcycle drivers don’t mind you parking your motorcycle next to theirs as long as you are courteous with how you park.
If the first motorcycle is parked to the side of the parking stall, that likely indicates they’re inviting another motorcyclists to park next to them. If they’re parked right in the middle of the stall, they probably don’t want another motorcycle next to theirs; you can’t park your bike next to another one parked like that anyway due to lack of space.
If you park your motorcycle next to a stranger’s, again, make sure you leave enough room for both of you to remount your motorcycles and pull away without harm to your bikes. Also be mindful of the cars parked around you and make sure you aren’t blocking them from properly operating their vehicles.
The Benefits Of Multiple Motorcycles In One Spot
Surprisingly, there are actually several benefits to parking two motorcycles in a single parking spot. The benefits not only help you and the other motorcycle rider, but they also help everyone else in the parking lot.
Car drivers tend to get mad at motorcyclists that take up a whole parking spot. But car drivers also get mad when motorcycles park on striped lines and on sidewalks, too. So really no matter what, car drivers are just going to be mad. They don’t understand that a motorcycle parked in a regular parking spot is actually perfectly legal. It can be scary when someone gets a bit of road rage because you don’t know was rash actions they’ll take.
The first benefit of parking two motorcycles in one spot is that you’re less likely to make other drivers mad. Usually when they see two bikes in one parking stall, they’re less likely to get angry like they would with one small motorcycle because it’s “taking up so much space.”
Having two motorcycles in a parking spot also makes yours and the other motorcycle more visible to other drivers who are looking for a spot to park in. Motorcycle riders often worry about parking in a normal parking spot because of unsuspecting drivers pulling in too fast without noticing their bike and running in to it. This is less likely to happen with two motorcycles.
Some motorcycle riders think, for some reason, that it’s okay to park in striped areas and the sidewalk of big business parking lots. Not only is this illegal, but it’s completely inconsiderate. Parking in a normal spot keeps you from getting a ticket and also prevents you from obstructing the path of pedestrians.
Knowing The Rules Of Metered Parking
The rules previously stated about parking multiple motorcycles in a single parking spot does not apply if your situation involves metered parking. Metered parking is a whole different ball game and authorities are a lot more strict with enforcing the rules and giving out tickets if appropriate.
In most cases, it is still legal to park two motorcycles in a single parking spot in a metered or paid parking. To be sure, check with the parking clerk. However, you cannot assume that because a motorcycle has paid for a full parking spot that you can park beside them for free. There’s a lot that can go wrong in this situation and here’s why.
Metered and paid parking make revenue off of the amount of vehicles that come and park, not the amount of space that is taken. Every vehicle that enters a paid parking or metered lot must pay to park there, even if you think you’re saving space. If you park next to another motorcycle in a paid parking spot and not pay, you will get a ticket.
This is especially dangerous to do if you park your motorcycle next to a stranger’s motorcycle. How would you feel if you paid for a full parking spot for your motorcycle and another motorcyclist came and parked next to you without paying and benefiting from you paying full price? I would be pretty frustrated.
If you expect to freely park by another motorcycle that’s already paid to park, you also run the risk of both of you getting a ticket. Most metered and paid parking lots have a way of tracking license plates so they know who’s paid, but not all of them do. In the case where an authority figure doesn’t know which motorcycle paid for the spot, both motorcycles will get a ticket.
In short, if you’re going to share a paid parking spot with another motorcyclists, you can do so as long as you both pay the full fee to park there. Curbside metering may not allow two payees for the same spot, so in this case you will have to have separate parking spots so you don’t get a ticket.
Other Motorcycle Parking Rules You Should Be Aware Of
Aside from knowing the legal amount of motorcycles that can park in a single parking spot, there are some other parking rules you should be aware of while you’re at it.
Parking a motorcycle on a sidewalk anywhere is illegal. You’ll probably see some motorcycles parked on the sidewalk right up next to a business. Though a lot of people do this, a lot of them get tickets and is not allowed in the eyes of the law.
Parking on striped areas in parking lots with a motorcycle is also illegal. Most striped areas are for handicap accessibility. Some motorcyclists don’t realize how much space a person with handicap plates (and who may be in a wheelchair) need to get around safely. Motorcycles parked in these areas make it difficult for these people and their accessibility.
Before taking up a normal parking spot, ride around the parking a lot a little bit to see if there are any designated parking spots for motorcycles. A lot of businesses have these and they’re usually right up by the entrance. Click here to see our full article on motorcycle parking etiquette.
How can you protect a motorcycle that is parked? There are several ways to protect a motorcycle from both the elements and from getting stolen while it’s parked. Such items include quality motorcycles covers, motorcycle locks that keep the motorcycle from moving, and motorcycle alarms that will make a loud sound when someone is messing with the bike.
What should you do if your motorcycle is stolen? If your motorcycle is stolen, you should report it missing to the police, report it missing to your insurance company, look for it yourself, check online listings to see if someone is trying to sell it, and post pictures of it on social media. Click here to see my article for more info.