Friday, July 13, 2007

Nice things come to those who Vespa in NY

An article in the NY Times (7.13.2007) reveals a nice campaign that Piaggio is undertaking in the streets of NYC.

"On Wednesday, an American importer of Vespa, the Italian maker of probably the best-known brand of motor scooter, said it had paid for almost two months’ worth of parking at 48 spaces in lots and garages in Chinatown, TriBeCa, Midtown and the theater district.
Anyone with a Vespa can leave it in one of those spaces for hours. (But not overnight; the lots don’t allow overnight parking.)
The promotion, done in conjunction with Edison ParkFast garages, ends Sept. 30."

The idea is to see if scooterists would use the parking spaces. They claim that 6 to 7 scoots can fit in the same space a car occupies and at $10 an hour for a car, garages and space lots could charge $2 and hour for scoots and make a larger profit. If garages decide to designate space for scoots, then it could obviously drive up sales of Vespas and bring the city closer to the Mayor's goal of loosening up it's congested streets, shrink the city's carbon footprint, and create a plethora of happier roadgoers.

For more info so you can inform your NY Vespa friends, check the link, here.


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CodyandMichelle said...

That is a great idea, that needs to be done nationwide in the big cities, Piaggio needs to run with this!

rev-up said...

When I lived in NYC, we parked on the sidewalk FOR FREE without hassle. Though the reporter obviously found a few agreeable people to quote, I still have quite a few friends on scooters out there & their experiences are still the same. The Piaggio USA parking campaign in NYC (which is modeled after the Parking Now campaign that preceded it) has gained PUSA some press but the praise for it is unwarranted. It may seem noble to someone residing outside of the Five Boroughs but if the marketing campaign (call it what it is) is effective in establishing designated scooter spaces, NYC will be less scooter friendly. Therefore scooter sales would more likely decrease without easing congestion.

Designated scooter parking will make it more difficult to park with ease in the city because sidewalk parkers are more likely to be ticketed if there are designated lots nearby. There are security & safety advantages to private garage parking and doing such has never been a problem for those willing to pay for it. The statement “Garages and parking lots often refuse to rent spaces to scooters, sometimes for obscure reasons, even when riders offer to pay motorcycle or even automobile rates” is a simply inaccurate. They are more likely to charge a reduced amount with the condition that the scooter not be parked in a proper car space.

Regardless, New York has one of the best public transportation networks in the States. It should be a model for all metropolitan areas. The GREAT majority of people who drive AND RIDE in the City do not have to. We owned scooters in NYC for recreation & a bit of independence not because they were a necessity. It was easier & quicker to hop on the rails.

We (New York scooterists) had the same debate years ago when Parking Now was being pushed. Most people didn’t care because scooter parking wasn’t a problem. It was a cause being championed by a privileged git with political ambitions – a manufactured issue. I’m disappointed to see PUSA take it up.