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Parking a Vespa in Boston

  1. #1
    Fast is contagious JettaJayGLS's Avatar
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    Parking a Vespa in Boston

    So with my roommate out of town for a bit I've been taking his Vespa to work (and winning pit bike races on it). Its plated, fully registered, insured, and inspected. Today I got a ticket for parking on the sidewalk. I know it is completely illegal, and am not arguing the fact I got a ticket, but why didn't the 4 other scooters parked within 5 feet of me get a ticket? Only thing I can think of is the fact that they were not plated. I saw one was a 125, and I believe the law is anything over 50cc needs a plate, so obviously the meter maids aren't looking to carefully.

    If the plate is the reason why, anything stopping me from removing the plate when I park? Or hell, just removing it all together, putting it under the seat, and saying it fell off at the very rare occurrence that I get pulled over?

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  2. #2
    Lifer wiggeywackyo's Avatar
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    Re: Parking a Vespa in Boston

    Velcro.

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  3. #3
    Lifer snwbrdr435's Avatar
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    Re: Parking a Vespa in Boston

    De-badge it


    Edit- For the record I liked the fact that your commuting on smiths vespa, not the parking ticket.

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    Last edited by snwbrdr435; 07-30-12 at 09:06 PM.

  4. #4
    Fast is contagious JettaJayGLS's Avatar
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    Re: Parking a Vespa in Boston

    But does anyone know if taking my plate off will more likely prevent me a ticket compared to getting me in additional trouble?

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  5. #5
    Senior Member dhawks's Avatar
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    Re: Parking a Vespa in Boston

    I think this is the crux of the moped versus limited use vehicle ("LUV") problem in Massachusetts. If you have the latter -- i.e., a scooter of greater than 49cc displacement and/or greater than 30 mph top speed, or choose to register your scooter as such -- you must insure and plate your scooter. And by doing so, you give up what is to my mind the single best reason to have a scooter: parking on sidewalks. Plated vehicles can't park on sidewalks. Vespas are on the blacklist as limited use vehicles:

    http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/porta...imited_Use.pdf

    The rules are reasonably clear, but this has nonetheless become a question of enforcement. Boston and Cambridge officials in past few years have publicly said that they would not ticket plated LUV. Other towns/cities have said no such thing. Not sure where you got your ticket. If the Vespa is not a plated LUV (e.g., if you removed the plate and put it under the seat), then many parking/meter maids will expect to see the moped sticker, which you would lack. But from the many mopeds I see in Boston with expired moped stickers, an expired or missing moped sticker does not seem to get much attention. Maybe less attention than a LUV parking on the sidewalk.

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  6. #6
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Parking a Vespa in Boston

    Quote Originally Posted by JettaJayGLS View Post
    But does anyone know if taking my plate off will more likely prevent me a ticket compared to getting me in additional trouble?
    Police and BTD are cracking down because people were doing things like parking the bigger scooters at bike racks or on sidewalks.

    http://www.cityofboston.gov/news/default.aspx?id=5172

    I heard a story about a guy who complained that he got a speeding ticket even though lots of others were speeding. The cop said "When you go fishing, do you catch all the fish?"

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    Last edited by Garandman; 07-31-12 at 01:12 AM.
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  7. #7
    Fast is contagious JettaJayGLS's Avatar
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    Re: Parking a Vespa in Boston

    Quote Originally Posted by dhawks View Post
    I think this is the crux of the moped versus limited use vehicle ("LUV") problem in Massachusetts. If you have the latter -- i.e., a scooter of greater than 49cc displacement and/or greater than 30 mph top speed, or choose to register your scooter as such -- you must insure and plate your scooter. And by doing so, you give up what is to my mind the single best reason to have a scooter: parking on sidewalks. Plated vehicles can't park on sidewalks. Vespas are on the blacklist as limited use vehicles:

    http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/porta...imited_Use.pdf

    The rules are reasonably clear, but this has nonetheless become a question of enforcement. Boston and Cambridge officials in past few years have publicly said that they would not ticket plated LUV. Other towns/cities have said no such thing. Not sure where you got your ticket. If the Vespa is not a plated LUV (e.g., if you removed the plate and put it under the seat), then many parking/meter maids will expect to see the moped sticker, which you would lack. But from the many mopeds I see in Boston with expired moped stickers, an expired or missing moped sticker does not seem to get much attention. Maybe less attention than a LUV parking on the sidewalk.
    Excellent, thank you! It is plated as an LUV, what a bummer.

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  8. #8
    Member gtutunjian's Avatar
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    Re: Parking a Vespa in Boston

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    http://www.cityofboston.gov/news/default.aspx?id=5172 - "Mayor Menino Announces Crackdown on Motorized Dirt Bikes and other Nuisance Vehicles in Boston"
    I'm sorry (Mayor) but an Escalade veering from lane to lane on Tremont Street as it passes The Visitor Center as I ride my motorcycle safely and legally down this street is more of a nuisance than someone on a loud LUV (or a motorcycle.) Get real and put the police and BTD on real issues.

    As The Mayor says: “I will continue to fight for the protection and quality of life of our residents,” Mayor Menino said. “These types of loud, dangerous vehicles are allowing individuals to intimidate our residents and cause disruption in our neighborhoods – and it must stop.” - He must have a chauffeur these days and be looking down 100% of the time, because if he drove himself to and from Hyde Park, especially at rush hour, he'd see all sorts of dangerous vehicles and vehicular intimidation on 4 wheels (and not on 2 wheels.)

    I applaud anyone on 2-wheels willing to brave it and commute into The City. My occassional walk around a sidewalk parked LUV, motorcycle or bicycle is nowhere as disruptive as the several SUVs who tried to muscle into my lane (drove a car Monday) without signalling thinking the threat of collision was going to keep me from driving (more like creeping) in my lane. This has happened to me on my motorcycle, too.

    This is another example of lazy minds working on simple problems while more challenging (and sweat breaking) problems in The City go unaddressed.

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  9. #9
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Parking a Vespa in Boston

    gtunjian, the key to understanding most of the City's action is "citizen complaints."

    There were kids riding pocket bikes all over the place. They're still cracking down: my 9yo sun has a Razor electric bike and he was asked by a LEO if it was gas or electric. Then gave him a thumbs up for wearing gloves and a helmet.

    My experience is the BTD folks don't target 2 wheeled vehicles very aggressively. They tend to target one area for a few days a month, or a few bikes a day.
    I've seen them walk by my bike, or I've parked between cars and asked one "Is this OK?" and they've said "sure."

    Downtown gets the most attention, as you move out from the financial district and Back Bay, there is significantly less coverage as you are aware. I parked on the sidewalk in Southie for more than five years without a ticket.

    JettaJay, it could have been "your day." Without going back a few times, you'll never know. But yes, the BPD and BTD are aware that people are removing badges and plates from larger scooters to try and pass as a 50. I got stopped coming out of a gas station last summer by two BPD officers who asked me if I could tell if the Yamaha Zuma they'd stopped was a 50 or 125. I had no idea, other than the VIN or something. Do I see a lot of scooters parked with Velcro and no plate? Yes.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 07-31-12 at 07:19 AM.
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  10. #10
    Member gtutunjian's Avatar
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    Re: Parking a Vespa in Boston

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    gtunjian, the key to understanding most of the City's action is "citizen complaints."
    I live in suburbia, and I hear my distant (2 streets away) neighbor's HD leave and come home (definitely not street legal), the neighbor's kid on his pocket bike (he makes one run a night during good weather) and three performance cars I can see from my driveway. It's the summer and windows are open. People who live in densely populated areas should expect noise (just as those who live outside densely populated areas should expect reduced noise.) I just think this is very low hanging fruit when more serious issues/crime is not getting enough cycles. I also think this is targetting a small and under represented population: The average salary of someone using a scooter or pocket bike is going to be way less than someone driving a recently minted 4-wheeled vehicle.

    (I wrote to the MMA and AMA this morning to see if I could do more than send checks and the occassional email to The State House.)

    I got a free pass on my motorcycle from BTD recently at South Station. It was a quick stop, but I was parked illegally, too. They definitely cut me some slack.

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  11. #11
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Parking a Vespa in Boston

    As discussed on the YB forum, there are numerous places in Boston where motorcycles have parked without being ticketed. The issue of course is that if they become overused, they attract citizen or business complaints and enforcement action.

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  12. #12
    Fast is contagious JettaJayGLS's Avatar
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    Re: Parking a Vespa in Boston

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post

    JettaJay, it could have been "your day." Without going back a few times, you'll never know. But yes, the BPD and BTD are aware that people are removing badges and plates from larger scooters to try and pass as a 50. I got stopped coming out of a gas station last summer by two BPD officers who asked me if I could tell if the Yamaha Zuma they'd stopped was a 50 or 125. I had no idea, other than the VIN or something. Do I see a lot of scooters parked with Velcro and no plate? Yes.
    My thoughts too, but at $65 a ticket I'm not ready to keep on trying. Also don't want to get it impounded for parking it without a plate.

    Took the train this morning

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  13. #13
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Parking a Vespa in Boston

    Quote Originally Posted by JettaJayGLS View Post
    My thoughts too, but at $65 a ticket I'm not ready to keep on trying. Also don't want to get it impounded for parking it without a plate.

    Took the train this morning
    There is a lot at 10 Saint James Avenue that charges $10 per day for motorcycles. There may be others. Most have old loop sensors so the gates don't work.

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