The first mistake many make is to think that “I can park anywhere, because it’s a bike.” Not true. In general, motorcycles must follow the same parking laws as any other vehicle, unless otherwise posted, and unless you have a handicap placard attached to your bike, don’t park in any portion of a handicap parking space!
You may see other motorcycles parked up near a movie theater box office or on sidewalks in front of retail outlets or other businesses, but do not follow their example. Those bikes are prime targets for a parking ticket. Under Florida state statute 316.1995, you cannot drive a motorized vehicle of any kind up onto a sidewalk, the grassy area around a sidewalk, or a bike path. Only foot-powered bikes are allowed. Under Florida statute 316.1945, you cannot stop, stand, or park a motorcycle on a sidewalk unless directed to do so by a traffic control officer/device or to “avoid conflict with other drivers.” Basically, that means you are never allowed to park on a sidewalk.
Finally, if parking your bike along a street, you should always park close to the curb (of the edge of a curbless street). It is best to have one wheel or a fender actually making contact with the curb. It can be helpful, especially when parallel parking, to park at a slight angle with your back tire touching the curb so that passing vehicles can see that the space is occupied. This will also leave room for other motorcyclists to share the space and ensure that you have enough room to exit the space when you’re ready to leave.
Motorcycle Parking Etiquette “Rules”
When you are driving with a group of other cyclers on a road trip, it is common and perfectly fine to share a parking space with another motorcycle. But this is only to be done by “mutual agreement.” And you should never park in a space already used by a car.
Even worse is to park not only in the same space but extremely close to another bike. That will make it difficult for the other biker to mount his or her bike and could end with your bike flat on the pavement. You really don’t want to have to call your motorcycle insurance company and explain your bike was damaged because you violated motorcycle etiquette.
However, if you share a space by agreement, that frees up an extra space for others to park in. Plus, in a parking lot that is very, very crowded, and if the other bike already using the space is not parked so as to “hog” the entire space, it might be acceptable to make an exception. But even then, don’t park too close to the other motorcycle.
Learning the basics of motorcycle parking laws and etiquette will improve your relationship with both law enforcement officers and other bikers and make it less likely for your bike to get damaged while parked.
To learn more about motorcycle safety rules and best practices, or for a free motorcycle insurance quote, contact Flagler County Insurance Agency today.