Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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City set to study moped parking issues

City officials are currently in the process of creating a committee to discuss moped parking in response to recent problems across the city.

After a recent change made by the Wisconsin Legislature, bicycles and mopeds are now considered separate transportation categories, and the city can issue ordinances for more direct parking regulations for mopeds. Mayor Paul Soglin has proposed a task force that will focus on how the city will use the new state laws to enforce parking regulations and add clarity to those existing designations.

“These types of rules will have a greater impact on where on State Street would be appropriate moped parking. Some buildings have designation and some don’t,” Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, said.

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Resnick said the mayor’s office is planning to include on its committee two University of Wisconsin students with mopeds, members of the UW Transportation Committee and various Madison property managers.

The City Council has not yet approved this committee, Nick Zavos, a legislative analyst for Soglin, said. He said the committee is still in the creation process, but the mayor’s office is working to address the issue.

“Dealing with this is a very discreet problem,” Zavos said. “The idea is that people are involved in the problem and the solution.”

University of Wisconsin Transportation Director Patrick Kass said in an email to The Badger Herald that a permit is required to park a moped anywhere on campus. Permits can be obtained online for $57 for the 2011-2012 academic year.

Kass said students can park between 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. in designated areas if they have purchased a permit. However, UW Transportation Services are looking to change the current policy for next year.

“We are looking at making some changes to moped parking for next fall. We are in the process of scheduling open forums next month to present ideas and obtain feedback,” Kass said.

In the current proposal, students would be required to choose a specific lot in which to park in addition to purchasing a permit, Chase Wilson, chair of the Associated Students of Madison’s Student Transportation Board, said.

Currently, businesses and public buildings around the city do not always have specified parking areas for moped users. The parking rules also fluctuate based on who owns the building and where it is located.

Zavos said it is also difficult to enforce these rules because there is such a large gray area in moped parking laws.

“There are concerns about competition between bikes and mopeds at bike racks,” Zavos said. “There are also concerns about blocking the sidewalk and there are access issues for the disabled.”

In the past, state legislation grouped mopeds and bicycles in the same transportation category as bicycles, creating no distinctions between the two in terms of parking law.

City parking enforcement currently does not issue moped parking permits, but instead relies on designated areas for parking. Soglin and his office currently are investigating parking elements, including how the weather affects parking situations.

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