The Bright Side

To park or not to park? Two motorcyclists from Illinois saw a parking meter sign that said motor cycles only. They pulled in to what to them looked like motor cycle stalls. They then went and paid for the parking using the stall number on the sign, but despite having paid for the parking time, they were issued parking tickets by a parking attendant. The ticket was not for not paying for parking but for parking motorcycles in a no parking zone. A police officer arrived and agreed with the parking assistant that the two motorcycles were parked in a no parking zone; however, the police officer (unlike the parking assistant) didn’t agree to the tickets because he felt that the marking of the stalls was confusing. As the photo in this issue shows, the motorcycle painted on the pavement clearly indicates that this area is for motorcycles, but there is no white stripe to indicate where the motorcycle parking spot ends. There are several adjacent spaces, clearly marked with white lines, that are of appropriate size for a motorcycle to park.

The motorcyclists assumed that the little white rectangles were parking stalls for motorcycles. There is a fire hydrant near the furthest rectangle; however, it isn’t visible when the outdoor seat next to it is occupied by a customer sitting at the end table. Further, one might argue that under the white paint it does say no parking, but the letters are faded and painted over. The curb is painted yellow, indicating no parking, but one could just as easily assume that it was an old marking that had not been removed when the area was converted into a motorcycle parking stall and the old no parking sign was painted over. The police officer is to be applauded for using understanding and common sense in neither issuing nor approving a parking ticket. There are several ways to modify the markings in order to eliminate the confusion. It is hoped that the street department will work with the parking department to remedy this easily misunderstood marking confusion.



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