Advertisement

Archive for Sunday, February 12, 2006

Motorcycles, mopeds more popular at KU

Increase is attributed to rising cost of gasoline, more expensive permits

February 12, 2006

Advertisement

When it comes to parking at Kansas University, motorcycle riders tend to be the least understood.

"That's been the problem over the years," said Donna Hultine, KU's parking services director. "We don't really think that way because nobody on this staff is a cycle driver. Even people on our parking commission typically have not ridden motorcycles."

Be it moped or motorcycle, the number of drivers opting for two-wheeled vehicles is on the rise at KU. And some want to be noticed as the university deals with parking issues.

KU student Joe Glowacki, an avid motorcycle rider, is among those who've taken motorcycle rider concerns to the parking department.

"They have motorcycle parking now," Glowacki said. "Some people would be perfectly happy just to pull it up and make motorcycles park elsewhere, but as long as they've got a good thing - and it's good for the university, staff and students - might as well try and keep it that way."

KU's Parking Department has issued 264 permits for employee and student mopeds and motorcycles so far this year - up from 181 in 2003.

Parking officials speculate the increase is due to the rising cost of gasoline and the increasing costs of permits.

The rise in two-wheeled transportation hasn't meant more accidents. Capt. Schuyler Bailey of KU's Public Safety said the office had not seen a rise in accidents or citations.


Richard Walker, a temporary staff member at Kansas University, parks his scooter behind Strong Hall recently. Be it moped or motorcycle, the number of drivers opting for two-wheeled vehicles is on the rise at KU.

Richard Walker, a temporary staff member at Kansas University, parks his scooter behind Strong Hall recently. Be it moped or motorcycle, the number of drivers opting for two-wheeled vehicles is on the rise at KU.

Mopeds may be parked in bicycle racks or motorcycle spaces. Motorcycles may be parked solely in motorcycle-designated spaces.

Motorcycles driven by students aren't allowed on Jayhawk Boulevard - a rule Hultine said keeps traffic down on the boulevard and makes the strip safer.

And while the university appears to be a motorcycle-friendly place, Glowacki and others say KU could improve by adding motorcycle spaces for the growing number of riders.

Parking Services last fall surveyed moped and motorcycle riders.

Glowacki said there were some unused areas on campus that could easily be converted to motorcycle spaces.

"It wouldn't take anything at all just to lay down a stencil that just says motorcycle and hit it with paint, and it's good to park there," he said. "It just makes it more accessible for all students."

Hultine said the campus would likely make some changes.

"I think we probably could accommodate them without taking too many parking spaces," she said.

Those changes may come sooner than the long-term talk about closing Jayhawk Boulevard to traffic.

Hultine said that idea had been kicked around for years, and there were no plans to make any changes at this point. The plan would require many costly infrastructure improvements, she said.

"It's something that the university is interested in doing," Hultine said. "Getting it done would take a lot of time and money."

Comments

norm 8 years, 2 months ago

Right. These same "mo ped" drivers have no respect for the rules of the road; seemingly think that because they are "dinkly" STOP and YIELD signs don't apply them; and pretty much do as they please.

The SOLUTION to KU "driver congestion" is to once and for all make the campus a NO VEHICLE ZONE. PERIOD.

It was supposed to be that way when the "traffic islands" were put into place in the early '70"s.

MAKE KU A PEDESTRIAN ENVIRONMENT ONLY (except for the BUS and "grounds" vehicles").

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.