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Motorcycle Parking on Sidewalk

September 10, 2015 Featured, Parking, Scooters 7 Comments

Last week I posted about buying a small 49cc Honda Metropolitan scooter a decade ago. Like a bicycle, it wasn’t required to be registered as a vehicle, often overlooked, and could be easily stolen.  As a result, I’d park it on the sidewalk -locked to something if I couldn’t watch it. But I also see very large motorcycles on sidewalks

Motorcycle at bike racks, Central Library
Motorcycle at bike racks, Central Library

Really?

I’m at a loss for why this is parked here, maybe no on-street parking spaces were free?   I’m open to hearing the reasons why registered motorcycles/scooters should be allowed to park on sidewalks.

— Steve Patterson

 

Bought A Honda Metropolitan Scooter Ten Years Ago Today

September 4, 2015 Bicycling, Featured, Scooters, Transportation Comments Off on Bought A Honda Metropolitan Scooter Ten Years Ago Today

Last weekend was the 10th anniversary of Katrina hitting the Gulf Coast:

Hurricane Katrina surprised disaster preparedness authorities when it made landfall 10 years ago, leveling entire communities and killing more than 1,800 people. The storm caused more than $100 billion in damage, making it the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. But for all the damage the storm caused in New Orleans, Katrina was a relatively weak hurricane when it hit the city.

In the academic community, the unexpected disaster prompted climate scientists to consider the link between climate change and storms. Since then, research has shown that climate change will increase the devastation caused by hurricanes as sea levels rise due to global warming. Some research has also suggested that climate change has increased the intensity and frequency of storms. (Time: Why Climate Change Could Make Hurricane Impact Worse)

After watching video of the resulting destruction I knew I had to do something, but what? My solution was to buy a nearly-new Honda Metropolitan scooter, 49cc. I did so ten years ago today!

Most scooters get very high fuel economy, I regularly got between 80-95 mpg. Over the next 29 months I put about 5,000 miles on that scooter — driving all over the region. Eventually it allowed me to go car-free!

Google Streetview captured me on my scooter in September 2007
Google Streetview captured me on my scooter in September 2007

On February 1, 2008 my scooter days came to an end, 15+ hours of no help following a hemorrhagic stroke left me able to ride scooters or bicycles. I sold the scooter to a neighbor — he eventually got another with a larger engine.  I also sold all my bicycles — except one.

I kept my reproduction WWII Swedish Army bike, it's now art in our home office. Click image for Wikipedia article on Kronan bikes.
I kept my reproduction WWII Swedish Army bike, it’s now art in our home office. Click image for Wikipedia article on Kronan bikes.

I have many fond memories of riding both the scooter and the orange bike. New poll on Sunday — have a great weekend!

— Steve Patterson

 

Don’t Drive Your Scooter On The Sidewalk Like The McDonalds GoodMorningSTL Commercial

If you watch local television no doubt you’ve seen a McDonald’s “Good Morning St. Louis” commercial filmed in the Delmar Loop, from a January RFT Gut Check report:

Gut Check spotted a film crew and a guy on a moped wearing a McDonald’s jacket in front of Chuck Berry Plaza this morning, and we just hoofed it down the block from Gut Check International Headquarters to confirm that McDonald’s is indeed shooting a TV commercial at the University City, um, landmark.

At 9 a.m., a crew set up a limited McDonald’s breakfast menu and a call box like the kind used to place orders in drive-throughs. When inquisitive pedestrians walk by and decide to try to order from the seemingly random speaker, much to their surprise (or maybe not, given that there are camera crews all over), a guy rides up on the aforementioned moped to deliver fresh, hot McDonald’s food to the person who placed the order. (RFT)

Each time I see the commercial I keep thinking it’s getting people okay with the idea of driving a motor scooter on the public sidewalk — a very bad idea. Illegal too.

Screenshot from McDonald's commercial showing a scooter delivering food on the sidewalk. Click image to view commercial in YouTube.
Screenshot from McDonald’s commercial showing a scooter delivering food on the sidewalk. Click image to view commercial in YouTube.

Hopefully McDonald’s obtained permits to close the sidewalk during filming but I’m disappointed it shows an illegal act.

On the positive side I do like they’re doing locally-focused commercials.

— Steve Patterson

 

Scooter Sales Were Up In Big in 2011

ABOVE: My former 2004 Honda Metropolitan scooter, March 2006

Last year motorcycle sales were basically flat but according to the Motorcycle Industry Council models that sipped gas saw big increases:

Collectively, the dozen leading brands included in the MIC’s Retail Sales Report were up 0.3 percent in 2011, compared to the year before. Fuel-efficient models did especially well. Among these brands, scooter sales rose 11.8 percent and dual-purpose bike sales were up 14.2 percent. The MIC will announce first-quarter 2012 sales for these particular brands, which represent most of the market, on April 20. (Source)

This means other models saw decreases for the total market to remain flat. The scooter I had for nearly three years was great transportation, the miles per gallon was around 80-90!  The last year I owned it I didn’t have a car — it was my only motorized vehicle.

I’ve not kept up on scooters since I had to stop riding in 2008 but there are many models available. Interestingly Honda lists the 2009 Metropolitan as the most recent version of that model.

Laws vary from state to state (list) but I liked that Missouri didn’t require registration of low speed 50cc models like my Metropolitan. Like using transit riding a scooter required you to adjust shopping trips, namely more frequent smaller purchases. The scooter did give me 24/7 mobility on my schedule.

The scooter I had couldn’t exceed 30mph or so. As a result I didn’t venture out of the city often. When I did it was on weekends or I took back routes to reach my destinations. Depending upon where you drive and your storage options a scooter might be a good choice for you.

– Steve Patterson

 

Top Six Posts From The Last Six Years

October 16, 2010 Downtown, Scooters, Site Info 2 Comments

This month I’m celebrating six years of UrbanReviewSTL.com.  This post looks at the top six posts from those six years, sorta.  My current analytics go back to mid-January 2009 so it is possible an earlier post was more popular prior to then.  No matter the rankings of #2-#6 I know the #1 is the #1.

#6 Missourians Against Red Light Cameras, February 17th, 2009

#5 The History of Problems in North St. Louis, May 26th, 2009

#4 Flashing Lights Outside Walgreen’s, February 5th, 2009

#3 NorthSide Project Has Potential to Transform St. Louis, May 27th, 2009

#2 Can We Please Ban Smoking in the St. Louis Region? Missouri?, January 29th, 2009

#1 My Honda Metropolitan Scooter, Two Years and Six Thousand Miles Later, September 4th, 2007

img_3094
ABOVE: When I'd buy gas for the scooter I'd photograph the odometer

I loved that little scooter and this post is ten times more popular than any of the others.

– Steve Patterson

 

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