Reader Offers Gas Saving Idea

Gotta hand it to those GUARDIAN readers. When it comes to saving fuel, they offer creative solutions.

“Bikeboy Steve” authored a guest posting, GAS ATTACK and prompted a huge number of comments. Among them was discussion of protesting Boise City’s parking policy for scooters and motorcycles.

From that posting, scooter owner and rider Hillary Haymond decided to send a letter to the mayor and council. Here is her idea which we think is worthy of support:

Dear Mayor and Councilors,

Recently you have made some news regarding parking. There has also been a lot of attention devoted to the rising price of gas and the concern of “dependancy on foreign oil.”

As one of the many motor scooter owner-operators in Boise, I would like to offer you a chance to take some immediate positive action which could ease the parking crunch downtown as well as encourage fuel savings. With the summer season upon us, I urge you to take immediate action as the number and use of scooters rise with the cost of gas.

Current city policy toward parking of motorcycles and scooters does nothing to encourage the use of these fuel efficient modes of transportation –many of which get nearly 100 mpg. There seems to be a policy AGAINST sharing parking spaces with other scooters. If friends ride together, they cannot share a parking space.

I have also had the experience of gas guzzling SUVs backing over scooters or motorcycles if we park behind them.

Please consider this a formal request to designate the “lead space” on each block downtown as free scooter and cycle parking with stripes for up to 5 spaces. That way, gas guzzlers won’t back into our two wheelers and you would encourage fuel efficient riders to come downtown. Similar concessions at parking garages would also serve the community well. This will help the parking needs of everyone – both two and four wheeled gas powered vehicles.

Please acknowledge receipt of this message and insure it goes to all of the council.
Thank you for your time,
Hillary Haymond

The GUARDIAN checked with the city parking office and they confirmed Haymond’s concerns. They allow only one “motorized vehicle” per space and it must be parked in the center of the space. If more than one is parked in a space, ALL are issued tickets for “parking in a non designated space.”

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. I was luke warm to HH’s proposal for the reason that I’m not sure there are enough scooter riders to justify the use of those spaces. But then I thought what better way for the City of Boise to get proactive on encouraging conservation efforts and saving space for more people in downtown Boise. Its good for business and saves time and money.

    Then I saw the ridiculous parking policy and that tipped me over. What a waste of space. Where is the encouragement to downsize the vehicle? If multiple vehicles in one space all get tickets for use of a “non-designated space”, then we should designate some of that precious downtown resource just for that purpose. This proposal merits serious consideration.

  2. How about tacking on another $0.10 a gallon and funding some decent mass transit for the vally that actually had good route coverage and distributed transfer points?

  3. Bikeboy Steve says… too bad about Hillary’s dismal fuel mileage! (My hybrid engine – runs on chicken, mashed potatoes, broccoli, Snickers bars, Fuji apples, Mountain Dew, barbecue ribs, carrots, etc. – does WAY better than that! grin)

    Hillary’s suggestion is very sound. The Council’s response will clearly indicate whether parking control is primarily intended to maximize parking-space efficiency, or generate revenue. (Frankly, it seems inconceivable that they’re currently ticketing multiple motorcycles sharing a space. I wasn’t aware of that, and I guess I’ve just been lucky, because I’ve done that very thing without ever getting a ticket.) (My other bike is a Harley-Davidson, as mentioned before.)

    Criminy! You could park TWENTY scooters in the space occupied by one Ford Excursion! Where’s the equity?

    I believe I’ll send an email to the Mayor/Council this very day, in support of the Hillary Parking Act of 2006.

    Check out this awesome demonstration of the value of alternative transportation:
    Go to
    … and scroll down to “Packing Pavement.” (It’s a graphic representation of how much space is occupied by single-occupant vehicles. Created in Tampa, FL., posted on the Oregon State U. website.)

  4. Well, this will be interesting. Will the greater need for parking all sizes of motor bikes actually create a solution? Can the city make this kind of logicistical leap?

    Ok mayor and city council, the ball is in your court.
    Let the games begin.

  5. Noted that hybrid Bikeboy Steve is not a vegetarian.

    Better mass transit is really needed in Boise. Scooters and bikes do not work for all people… such as the working parent who must drop off and pick up children from day care and/or school. But currently Boise does not support anything but four wheels and a large gas tank. tsk tsk tsk

    Dave, do you have a photo of a Tokyo bike parking lot? I do, but I am not able to post it on line at this time. It is amazing to see a parking lot for bikes the size of our car parking lots, jammed with bikes. Then the people can hop onto the mass transit and get to work or wherever they are going.

    One would think that a few spaces for scooters is nothing to help with the congestion we already have not to mention the cost of gas!!! If there are those who are willing to put their lives on the line riding on motorized two wheels then they should get a parking break – so to speak.

    (Steve interesting web site.)

  6. How come things that make SO much sense take SO long to cycle (no pun intended) through the bowels of government bureacracy? Miss Hillary makes an articulate and environmental case for her proposal. It seems a simple enough thing to accomplish.

    But, I do recall Councilman Bisterfelt ranting at some poor citizen awhile back about how the City “spends” $350,000 a year on people who fail to pay their parking tickets. I believe what he meant was that there is currently $350,000 dollars on the books as delinquent payments….which has NOTHING to do with what the City spends to manage parking control, and even if it did, the statement he made would still be erroneous, nonsensical and a grossly twisted piece of logic. Anyway, I wonder how much they will “spend” if they don’t ticket all of these multiple space users?

  7. The ironic thing is that lots of people who don’t ride motorcycles are offended when one takes up a whole car space to himself instead of sharing it with another bike.

    One time I was actually ordered by a rentacop at a government building to park illegally on the sidewalk with the bicycles, saying it was illegal for a motorcycle to park in a spot designated for cars. He was smoking a cigarillo, as is appropriate for such a gentleman of authority. I obeyed and went inside to do my business, worried that he might change his mind about the law and write me a ticket when the cigarillo was finished.

  8. Oh Guardian,

    I have a confession to make. I ride a scooter. I know that this is hard for many people that read you web site to believe, but it is true. The cause… I can blame many things. My one year in Arkansas, 6 months in Florence Italy, living through the 70’s long gas lines, high gas prices, need I go on.

    It has been hard. In the last several years the Mommie’s in their SUV’s on the way to school, with the one child in the car and talking on the cell phone have tried to run me off the road. Being at a stop light that is not tripped by the scooter because it doesn’t have enough metal to set it off, and being afraid of a ticket from the police when you “run” a light. Having teenagers laugh at you when you drive by Timberline High school. About the only people that I have been able to identify with is people at the Flying M… which has been very hard on me.

    But yesterday when I filled up my tank at Jackson’s I spent $2.25 and it should last me until next week at this time. The Mommie on the cell phone next to me with NO child in her car at the time…$41.25! I was in such a good mood that I drove my scooter to the Flying M and pushed the button for a free 20 min. parking spot and bought a mocha…. And I might even make me one of those Christmas drinks you taught us how to make with the money I have saved.

    Would it hurt for the city of Boise to give us scooter drivers a little respect?

  9. Chet Parker
    May 2, 2006, 11:35 pm

    Congratulations Hillary!! Proof that women named Hillary should be listened to. 🙂

    How about a betting pool on how our elected officials will handle this one? My money says they’ll shrug off this bit of brilliance without so much as a thank you.

    But wait!!! Could this be an opportunity for the people to stand up and demand some intelligence from the “leaders”?? Petition time? Show of strength at a council meeting? Stay tuned.

  10. There appears to be a lot of support among the readers of this blog. I would think that if each one took a moment to e-mail the mayor to let him know that this is a good idea, and would help the basic parking issue in town then we may not have to have petitions nor the fun of civil disobediently filling up downtown parking with scooters leaving little room for cars (as much fun as that would be).

    Chet, I also have my doubts that elected officials will see the “bit of brilliance” (thank you) in this suggestion. But who knows, perhaps they have noticed the increase in motorized two wheelers in downtown taking up parking which rightfully belongs to SUV’s and other gas sucking four wheeled things.

    I have fun with my scooter and except for having a large vehicle back into my parked scooter (when it was still new) because the driver couldn’t see it parked five feet in back of her as she “looked” in her rear view mirror, most motorists are very nice. But then I have friends who advise me to stay out of the area around HP because there are a lot of folks out there who tend to be really, really aggressive drivers. Cell phone folks are a danger to everyone, not just scooters.

    I have a lot of gray haired folks wave at me from their cars because they talk to me about riding a scooter when I am parked at the market. i have talked to a man in a wheel chair at a stop sign. It’s a more personal way to interact with others than shut up in a car or even riding fast on a bicycle. Kids laughing at me? Never noticed and don’t care. And I have stickered my scooter up so they have something to read. (“ONE LESS CAR”) Flying M? Yeah, I like the place, but parking is a drag. Can’t park on the sidewalk, even though I’ve seen it done.

    Chet – Ms. Clinton certainly has helped others remember and spell my name. 😉

  11. Congratulations to all you scooter riders. It has been many years since I could remember how to keep my balance on two wheels…even when I could the practice of bicycling in Boise seemed terribly dangerous because auto drivers seem to have little respect for the self-propelled types. We should make every accomodation for parking all kinds of motorized and non-motorized two wheeled vehicles since you folks are freeing up traffic for those of us who need four wheels.

    I really hope that more public transportation will be planned for and implemented in the near future, including interstate travel. I would enjoy a trip to Portland if I didn’t have to drive, and to other points on the coast and north. Since I am sick of airline travel I am hoping that rail travel will be revived. Most likely I will not live that long, but one can hope.

  12. Yay for Hillary Haymond!
    Excellent idea and well presented.
    It definitely makes a lot of sense — which, of course, is two strikes against it in the minds of most city councilors (No Dave, you didn’t create that word; it’s been used in many cities for years).
    One sort of aside: If an officer tickets every scooter/motorcycle in a parking space, that officer is issuing one illegal ticket, to the one two-wheeler that’s legally parked.

    I sometimes ride a 125cc motorcycle, and am familiar with the problem of trying to park safely so as not to get run over by four-wheelers pulling in or out of parking spaces.

    And while we’re on the subject of two-wheelers — very few businesses seem to be interested in serving the non-motorized crowd. A few have bike racks out front, but many more do not. Why?

    Oh, well, Boise hasn’t yet been able to outlaw walking, but, beware pedestrians, I’m sure they’ll try.

    EDITOR NOTE–GURADIAN Confesses to stealing “councilors” from other cities. It DOES sound better than “councilperson.”

  13. Derick Trammell
    Apr 30, 2007, 1:21 pm

    Always thought I would visit Boise. But as the city policy is to allow only one “motorized vehicle” per space and it must be parked in the center of the space. If more than one is parked in a space, ALL are issued tickets for “parking in a non designated space.”

    I will make other plans for future vacations and reroute my travel through more friendlier places to motorcyclist and save my money.

    EDITOR NOTE–Not so fast Easy Rider. Thanks to GUARDIAN readers we have some newly designated curbside parking for 2 wheelers. Bring your money and enjoy some pretty nice people.

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