Bikers lose an advantage


POSTED: Saturday, August 08, 2009

In decades past, motorcycle parking was free in many public and private parking garages, but those spots are becoming rare.

More Honolulu garages have decided to charge motorcycles for parking, just as the two-wheelers are growing in popularity.

The state recently began charging $50 a month for employee motorcycle parking at Honolulu Airport, which is run by Ampco System Parking. Public motorcycle parking is $5 a day.

At Waterfront Plaza, Standard Parking extended its gate arms and announced that beginning in September, motorcycle and mo-ped riders will have to pay $75 a month or $5 daily to park in the garage, with no in-and-out privileges.

Previously, motorcycle and mo-ped riders were able to park in the garage without charge.

Longtime motorcycle riders like Pato Pato of Kakaako said it is becoming more difficult to find places to park for free, as well as places to park, period.

He said many retail centers, for instance, have empty spaces that could be striped for motorcycles so they do not have to park in a regular stall. At Ward Gateway Center, where he's a frequent Starbucks customer, there are none.

“;Now, especially, because of the cost of gas, you're getting more people on two wheels,”; he said.

Pato - who owns a Harley-Davidson motorcycle - is handicapped with arthritis, back and neck problems, meaning he must find a stall near businesses because he is unable to walk far.

“;Not only do I get mad if I get charged for parking,”; said Pato. “;If I take a handicap space, eventually some old lady or man is going to feel they are more important than me. They think that if you ride a motorcycle, you can't be handicapped.”;





        Motorcycles park here for free:

» Municipal Garages


» Chinatown Gateway, 1031 Nuuanu Ave.


» Harbor Court, 86 Queen St.


» Kekaulike, 1018 Maunakea St.


» Marin Tower, 60 N. Nimitz Highway


» Alii Place, 1099 Alakea St.


Source: City and County of Honolulu


Honolulu had 18,964 registered motorcycles in the county as of Dec. 31 - 6.1 percent more than 2007, according to Dennis Kamimura, administrator of the city Motor Vehicle and Licensing Division.

Several other motorcyclists, who declined to give names, said they thought free parking should be granted as an incentive for people who have chosen an alternative to a car. A motorcycle or mo-ped means one less car on the roads, they said.

Tom Markos, who rides a Yamaha Road Star, said he sees plenty of dead space between parking stalls that could be used for motorcycle parking - although it is not legal and could result in a ticket. He says it would be great to see the city allocate one stall per block striped for motorcycles.

Rates for motorcycle parking vary in downtown Honolulu.

At the Pioneer Plaza and Harbor Square garages, motorcycles are charged $40 a month for parking.

At First Hawaiian Center, motorcyclists who have business to do in the building can park for no charge. Employees at the building, however, pay $62.83 a month for a parking sticker.

The Bishop Square parking garage has space for mo-peds free of charge, but no motorcycle parking.

At Davies Pacific Center, which is owned by Pacific Office Properties, monthly motorcycle parking is $83.77 a month.

Several municipal garages downtown still offer free parking for motorcycles and mo-peds, including Alii Place on Alakea Street, Chinatown Gateway on Nuuanu Avenue and Marin Tower on North Nimitz Highway.

The Hilton Hawaiian Village also allows motorcyclists to park for free, although many Waikiki hotels now charge a fee.