Mopeds now have permanent parking areas on campus
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02
The University of New Hampshire has often wrestled with permits and parking lots to ensure that the school remains a “walking” campus for its students. Though the campus is home to the Wildcat Transit bus service and its sidewalks and paths are numerous, its parking lots are limited.
A somewhat new, but incredibly popular (especially among many of the school’s varsity athletes) mode of transportation has recently emerged on campus: mopeds.
As a result of the growing popularity and presence of scooters and mopeds on the UNH campus, UNH Transportation Services has now designated specific parking areas for these vehicles.
According to a document announcing changes for the 2012 -’13 academic year on the University Transportation Services website, “New parking areas are being created on campus exclusively for mopeds, and will be available starting September 2012. Therefore, after Sept. 1, 2012, mopeds will NO LONGER be eligible to park at campus bike racks, or any other area not explicitly set up for moped parking.”
Some believe that athletes on campus may have had some influence in the rise of moped and scooter popularity.
“I think that the athletes definitely had something to do with it. Being an athlete myself, I notice the number of scooters at the field house any given day,” said Ian Wilson, a student and member of the UNH Men’s Ski Team, according to the team roster.
“However, there has been a big influx of scooters, in general, over the last two years and I doubt if athletes are even 50 percent of that. I think it’s a combo of more athletes with mopeds, and mopeds for everyone else too.”
“The necessity for mopeds to have permits is not a new regulation that was just implemented,” said Operations Manager of Transportation Services Marc Laliberte. “Mopeds have always required permits. The mopeds-only parking pads are new.”
Currently, the university has implemented 23 parking pads around campus. These areas are seen as graveled areas surrounded by red painted stripes with white lettering that read “MOPEDS.” Some have blue signs as well, which indicate the prohibition of other parked vehicles. The pads are located as far north as the Gables, as far south as Williamson and Christensen, and as far downtown as Fairchild. If a pad is not located nearby, it is legal to use paid parking meters.
There has been a mixed reaction among moped and scooter users throughout campus regarding the pads.
“I think it’s a perfectly good idea,” Wilson said. “It restricts the amount of space that scooters can spread out over. Also, it keeps bike racks open for bikes.”
Student Alexander Harling thought differently.
“Scooters and mopeds can be easily stolen, and oftentimes, owners prefer to leave their vehicle locked (up) somewhere where it cannot be picked up and thrown into the back of a pickup truck,” he said.
Parking passes cost $25 and forms can be filled out online or at the transportation office. Students who have a parking pass for a motor vehicle such as a car or motorcycle are prohibited from obtaining one for mopeds and scooters.
According to Laliberte, approximately 150 passes have been sold and Transportation Services hopes to sell as many as 350 for the entirety of the year.