Monday, October 8, 2007


Thanks to Lori of Eastport, who sent in this comment:

Paul: Much of the information I've included in this post I am pulling together in a letter to the editor of the Capital, but based on your post today about the city's "Free Bikes" program, I felt it important to add my two cents.It is important to note that the problems you are discussing in terms of bicycles are applicable to scooters as well.I am an Eastport resident and the company I work for recently moved into Park Place. My immediate thought was "I'll get a scooter to commute." The city professes to be such a bike and scooter-friendly town, but I've found it to be the opposite. It took two days of phone calls to get any sort of answer on the city's policy toward parking scooters in city garages. While the short version is that scooters are not technically allowed in city garages, you can usually tuck the scooter into an unused corner of the garage. Yes, you can park the scooter on the street, but there is a difference between parking on Main Street to run into a store and parking the scooter while in the office -- all day long. After two days of phone calls and much searching of city web sites, we were able to determine (through phone calls, no online information), that scooters can be parked on bike racks. But big surprise -- like most other local garages, Park Place has not put a bike rack in. According to Danielle Maitland with the city's Transportation department, the city received a "gift" of bike racks some time ago. Apparently our company representative can call up and request the bike rack and it will "appear", according to Ms. Maitland. But why do we have to request it? Why can't they install these racks into all the city garages? They already have them --- they do not need to purchase them.For a city and a mayor that has milked a lot of positive press out of its efforts to be "green" and says it wants to encourage alternate modes of transportation ( for commuters, and wants to bring business into the city limits, their official "no scooter parking" policy and lack of bicycle racks in city garages says otherwise.The reality is that the ability to park a scooter in a downtown spot for a few hours has a negligible effect on both traffic and the environment. Traffic and environmental concerns will see positive change when those commuting on a daily basis make the change. My using a scooter to commute to work means one less car on the road, something the city of Annapolis purportedly supports, at least according to its website. I decided to go ahead and get the scooter, primarily because I don't feel like paying the Parks machine $150/month to park my car in their "luxury garage." I have been facing all the same dilemmas and problems with my scooter as you have posted about the bicycles, including the impatience of drivers. I really wish they made a giant "student driver" sign for scooters. If that won't get them to back off, nothing will!
LORI--Thanks very much. Please contact me directly and we can discuss. You have run smack into the wall of lack of concern and lack of leadership in our city to really do something about this. I laughed when I read your comments about speaking with DOT Director Danielle Matland. She commutes to work in a truck from near the library ALL THE WAY to Chinquapin Round Road. Sometimes she enjoys scoootrers so I thought she would be more helpful. No, that would be wishful thinking. Consider this--The Knighton Garage is EMPTY!!!! They need scooters--or anybody in there.
I agree with your concerns, however, while there are some positives to scooters, they are more dangerous and less maneuverable than are bicycles, they avert exercise and use fossil fuels, albeit , on a much lesser level than a car. You could do like like local lawyer and former Alderman Gil Cochran does, and ride it and park it on the sidewalk. Or you could do what Economic Development Director (is that office or department?) Mike Miron does and park it on a sidewalk. You could try biking, walking or taking a bus, or a combination of biking and the bus. Thanks very much for reading CP and for your comments.


blogger templates | Make Money Online