Citizen complaint of the day: Harley no place for a motorcycle

A concerned citizen complains about a motorcycle parked on the sidewalk on Harley Street in Dorchester.

H/t eeka.



    Free tagging: 



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    Looks like there's plenty of room for pedestrians, homeless shopping carts, etc. to pass. I'd say the bigger problem is that Citizen hasn't figured out landscape vs. portrait mode.

    Perhaps you are wrong

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    150cc engines are mopeds and scooters. I am unaware of any "motorcycle" with and engine under 250cc in this day and age...and even those are becoming outdated by age. They do make good starter bikes though.

    Perhaps YOU are wrong

    I had a 125cc motorcycle a few years ago. Besides, does it make any difference whether it's a scooter or a motorcycle? They're essentially the same size and would take the same amount of space.

    It's a tough call. Scooters should be able to tuck themselves out of the way in a lot of places, but where do you draw the line?

    The only difference

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    The only required difference between a "motorcycle" and a "scooter" is whether you straddle the seat or sit with your feet forwards like a chair. As a result of how you sit, the scooter is often automatic transmission but motorcycles are largely manual transmission still. That's not a requirement however.

    There are scooters that go up to 650cc (and probably beyond) like the popular Suzuki Burgman 650. There are motorcycles that have 50cc engines that go up to nearly 80 mph like the Aprilia RS4 50.

    Super cub

    Who is requiring that difference?

    The most popular motorcycle in history has a foot-forward, chairlike seating position.

    I'd argue that the scooter's step-through frame and flat floorboard is a secondary phenomenon, not a primary driver of design. Scooters have these features because of engine placement and transmission difference vs (most) motorcycles, not vice versa:
    -The scooter motor is attached to the rear frame / under the seat, whereas the motorcycle engine is in the middle. This leaves space in front of the seat for legs.
    -The motorcycle has foot controls, usually including rear brake and shifter (clutch on left handlebar), and the scooter has none. With an automatic transmission on the scooter, the rear brake can be at the left hand like on a bicycle, and there's no need for a shifter.
    So type of transmission and motor placement create the flat floor scooter.

    On the 50cc Super Cub, the motor is slightly forward of the seat, but the engine is so small and low that the feet are placed forward and down like a chair position (though on pegs and slightly divided). It's a semi-automatic transmission, with no clutch lever on the left handlebar, because it was designed to be drivable one-handed, but it's got shifter on left and brake on right.

    Any larger cc scooter is going to have divided foot placement as well because of the space needs of the bigger engine, but it still won't have foot controls.

    It's a chicken-egg problem

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    Is it a scooter because the engine is in the rear, thus allowing for a platform of some sort for your feet and a step-through body design...or is the desire for a step-through body design and platform for your feet the reason they had to mount the motor in the rear?

    The Dept of Transportation says it's the platform/step-through design, we don't care where or how the motor is mounted.

    Also, scooters don't have to be auto transmission. There are some that are manual with the controls on the left handlebar.

    This whole thread is mistaken

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    There is no 150cc anything in the MA RMV rules on motorcycles and scooters.

    In MA, "scooters" are the little leaf-blower-powered Razors and minature-motorcycles and the like. They aren't allowed to go over 20 mph.

    "Motorized bicycles" are under 50cc and have a max speed of 30 mph.

    "Limited Use Vehicles" are basically what you'd call a scooter but that are able to reach a max speed between 30 and 40 mph. They require registration, LUV plates, emissions testing, insurance, etc.

    "Motorcycles" are anything that falls outside of these carved exceptions. Also, "LUVs" on two wheels are also technically motorcycles and fall under certain motorcycle requirements.

    The RMV has royally fucked up two-wheeled driving in this state as a result of not having correctly defined categories before newer forms of scooters, etc. came out and then trying to control the recent outbreak of popularity in these forms of transportation as a result of Boston being a city, the cost of gas, etc. The result is this hodgepodge of engine size and max speed requirements along with different levels of regulation for plating, registration, etc.

    They need to take a step back and try again and just throw away all these definitions and standardize their approach. They also need to make it LESS difficult to drive what we'd all call a scooter...however, they've only ever made decisions recently that make it more difficult.

    The end result is that cities have to be proactive to make exceptions of their own that void certain things. For example, Cambridge and Boston have both determined that parking motorized bicycles and LUVs on the sidewalk is allowed as long as they aren't blocking anything important or chained to street furniture (light posts, meters, etc.). Compare to Brookline which has it illegal to park anything motorized on the sidewalks (but also never enforces it that I've ever seen).

    Public Way

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    Sidewalks are a public way, not a parking lot.

    And for some reason the Citizens Connect program does the same to my images ... If I take a picture in portrait mode, when I select it from my gallery to upload to the CC app, it turns it sideways. Where are the settings to adjust that?


    A lot of cell phones save the photo in only one aspect and put the orientation value in the metadata. When the CC portal gets the photo it's likely stripping the metadata without flipping the photo to match. This is fairly common.

    I've never uploaded to CC but it's bad design if they don't have a picture preview with an option to rotate the photo 90 degrees.

    So a motorcycle parked on the sidewalk,

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    although they left sufficent space for people to pass, is bad and demands an immediate response from the City. But when cyclists chain their vehicles to trees and parking meters and sign posts and grates and whatever and the City takes action to remove THOSE vehicles, it's what about our rights to do this, and OMG the CIty has no right to take such action.

    Further proof that the cyclist's "Equal rights - equal responsibilites" mantra is a load of BS.

    Because of course you know

    Because of course you know that the person who submitted this complaint to CC is the exact same person who complains when anyone requests that a bike be removed.


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    Honestly? I disagree: it doesn't look like there's enough space to pass. I'd bet good money there is less than 36" for a wheelchair to get down that sidewalk.



    Do you even know the difference between a bicycle and a motorcycle?

    Of course the REAL problem that you are avoiding, in your haste to demonize any vehicle that doesn't take up twenty times the space of its lone occupant, is that these problems arise because there isn't any formal parking for these vehicles because Boston is as backward as you are and people have to improvise.

    That's because the REAL answer that you are also avoiding involves reclaiming some of the excessive space that those giant private vehicles get for free and distributing it to a greater number of smaller private vehicles belonging to a larger number of people.

    BTW, cyclists and motorcyclists pay taxes, too. Motorcyclists pay far more in fees than motor vehicle drivers, too.

    Yes I do know the difference

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    A motorcycle has to be registered and insured, and the driver has to be licensed, to use the public roads. Also, motorcycle drivers must use the same lanes as other vehicles, and don't get to ride on sidewalks.

    Bicycles, on the other hand, get full use of the public streets without having to be licensed or registered.

    And getting back to the issue at hand - if we have laws restricting the parking of vehicles on the sidewalk (wheter it be a general prohibition or a "if it blocks free movement"), they should apply equally to ALL vehicles. But once again, cyclists continue to argue they're special and should be granted an exception to the rules others are expected to obey.

    I will not rest until I can

    I will not rest until I can ride my bicycle down the middle of 128 and pay $300 a month for a parking permit for it as well as excise tax.

    Roadman thinks he owns the roads, eh?

    Sorry. You don't. We all do, and we all get to use them.

    REGISTERING A CAR IS NOT WHAT GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO USE THE ROADWAYS. People all have rights to use the roadways. Registering your car gives you the right to USE A CAR ON THE PUBLIC ROADS. That right is not exclusive.

    Wrapping yourself in a special metal box gives you no special or exclusive rights to the public way - just special responsibilities. But you probably still don't get that "equal rights" to the roadways aren't "special rights". You really had to go there - bet you are joy to have around come Pride Parade.

    Bicycles also don't destroy the roads. They don't necessitate massive investments in roadways nor do they cost society in tens of thousands dead in accidents (and all the emergency services that go with that). They don't spew pollutants known to be associated with lung cancer, asthma exacerbation, emergency room visits, or deaths from lung or cardiovacular disease.

    Just because motorists externalize those costs doesn't mean that they don't exist - or that the pittance we pay comes close to covering the costs.

    We'll talk about "obeying laws" when I can go a single day without seeing a single motorized vehicle driver flout them recklessly.

    This is BULLSHIT, you're

    This is BULLSHIT, you're telling me Marty WON'T install new horse troughs on Boylston so we have to use public fountains for fuel now? My my bridle AND stable fees are expensive enough in the back bay, you call this a world class city?


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    Agree, the bike has been parking there for 4 years without a single complaint. Our "concerned citizen" should have at least talked to the owner before calling the police.

    Harley owner wannabe

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    I am writing to thank the neighbor who chose to go straight to the BPD instead of speaking to the motorcycle owner first. After all, we would not have had such a wonderful example of community in the form of this blog and discussion thread and would have never known the benefit of using the BPD to resolve a problem.

    Uber Complaint of the Day!

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    Lisa Tatum, President Sent CERTIFIED MAIL
    State Bar of Texas Return Receipt Requested
    1414 Colorado St
    Austin TX 78701 June 18th, 2014

    Dear Ms. Tatum:

    As a concerned private citizen and licensed limousine operator,

    I would like to file this grievance in the form of a complaint against
    Houston City Attorney David Feldman.

    1) The subject of approval for legal operation for UBER and Lyft
    transportation services has been before Houston City Council
    for over a year and is a very contentious issue.

    2) The Mayor and Council have directed that in the interim, the
    current Chapter 46 Ordinance on Public Transportation should
    be enforced.

    3) There are currently 161 tickets for violations sitting on the desk
    Mr. Feldman. For reasons known only to himself, he has made
    no effort whatsoever to comply with direct orders given to him
    on this matter.

    4) We have attempted to communicate directly with Mr. Feldman
    on this matter and he has been unresponsive.

    5) In his position as Chief Legal Counsel for the City of Houston
    Mr. Feldman should be held to a higher standard than a lawyer
    in private practice.

    6) It is our perception that his actions to essentially protect illegal
    limo and taxi services UBER and Lyft are tantamount to Deprivation
    of Civil Rights and Due Process while acting under color of law.

    7) We are seeking direct intervention from your office, a full
    investigation and if warranted, censure and disbarment proceedings
    against Mr. Feldman.

    Joe L. Jordan (Signed)

    Joe L. Jordan, Editor
    Limoinsider Report
    Jordan Limousines
    14173 Northwest Freeway #166
    Houston TX 77040

    713 680-3181
    [email protected]

    Motorcycle on Harley St.

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    This "concerned citizen" should have at least talked to the bike's owner before calling the police. The bike has been parked there for 4 years without a complaint from anyone. This was a very un-neighborly action which resulted in a $65 ticket.

    Ah, yes, talk to your

    Ah, yes, talk to your neighbors. Because people are always so responsive to strangers telling them what to do.

    No offense

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    But you're whining about $16.25/yr in parking costs.

    Pay the fine and be glad you didn't have to pay 72x more than that per year like most people with a private off-street parking space in the city.

    What, exactly, would you have him say?

    What could you imagine the person telling the bike owner that the bike owner didn't already know?

    • Unless he's an idiot, he already knows that parking a vehicle on the sidewalk is illegal and subject to a ticket.
    • Similarly, he already knows that helping oneself to what isn't yours, by, for example, using a public sidewalk to store your personal property, is not only illegal but obnoxious.

    So how, exactly, would you imagine the conversation going?