What is moped parking law?
May 7, 2012 2:02 PM   Subscribe

I'm having issues with Moped parking in Michigan. Anyone have any experiences or know the laws here?

So, I have been getting a bunch of flack about what to do with my moped recently. When I originally purchased it, the shop owner told me that it should be parked on sidewalks, bike racks, etc just like a bicycle would be. At the previous apartment complex I lived at, I noticed people parking scooters horizontally in parking spaces in sharing the front portion of their parking space with their car (I thought this was smart - parking a small motor vehicle in an economic way as to not waste space).

I have since moved and at my current apartment complex, I had been parking it on the grass in front of my apt across the parking lot (and chaining it to a sign). Management called me and told me this was unacceptable and that there are bike racks throughout the complex that I can chain it to. Being that the bike racks are all quite a walk from my apt, I started parking it in my covered parking spot, which I pay for. I park it horizontally in front of my car, like I had seen other do at my previous residence. Surprise, surprise, I got a call saying that I am not allowed to park my moped in covered parking. Surprisingly, there a 3 motorcycles that have been parking in my same covered parking unit since March.

Furthermore, I have been reading mixed information from numerous sources all over the internet regarding the legality of moped parking. Most seem to say that when parking a moped, it is to be treated like a motorcycle and must be parked in a designated motorcycle or car parking space.

Anyone know what the law is for parking mopeds in Michigan? And do I have the right to park my moped in my covered parking space?
posted by Forerunner343 to Law & Government (11 answers total)
Best answer: Presumably the parking lot is owned by your apartment complex. If that is the case, it doesn't really matter what your town allows for public parking spaces because your apartment complex is not public. Although it seems inane to prevent you from parking your moped in your own spot, your apartment complex has the right to set parking requirements in a parking lot that they own.
posted by saeculorum at 2:07 PM on May 7, 2012

Best answer: Right, the apartment lot is private property. Does the lease you signed for your parking spot (maybe as an addendum to your apartment lease) have wording in it about what you can and cannot park in your spot? For example, I've seen some that disallow undrivable cars or put a strict time limit on them. If motorcycles are allowed, ask why mopeds are not or if it is an issue having two vehicles in one spot.
If they have told you that you have to use a bike rack, tell them they need to install one closer to your unit.
posted by soelo at 2:15 PM on May 7, 2012

Response by poster: It's not a matter of having too many vehicles in one spot, the 3 motorcycles I mentioned are all parked in the same space. I went down to the office just now to see what the actual problem is. The manager was not there, but her assistant was. Her assistant didn't seem to know the reason, but did mention that covered parking is not to be used for storage of 'personal items.' I told her it's a motor vehicle and I will leave it where it is until I speak with the manager. I'll dig up my lease right now to see if it mentions covered parking.
posted by Forerunner343 at 2:29 PM on May 7, 2012

Response by poster: Found the lease. There is a small addendum, but it only starts the adjustment to the rent for having a covered parking space. Here is what the lease says about parking in general:

"PARKING LOT USE. Owner reserves the right to regulate the use of all automobile parking spaces. Automobiles mat park only in those areas designated as parking spaces by parallel painted lines. Parking spaces are for the use of Resident and Resident's guests for the parking of their automobiles and may not be used for for storage of any vehicle or parking of boats, campers, trailers, or any commercial vehicles. All automobiles must display a current license plate and current local municipal sticker, if applicable, and be in operable condition if parked on property of owner. Owner will attach or cause to be attached in accordance with applicable local, municipal or state codes, to any boat, trailer, camper, improperly licensed or inoperable vehicle or vehicle improperly parked, a notice of for its removal by a specific date. If not removed from Owner's property by that date, Owner may have the vehicle towed at the vehicle owner's expense. Motorcycles are to be parked only in those parking spaces designated by Owner for motorcycle parking."

As a side note, the state of Michigan defines a moped as a unit that meets the following:
- The engine does not exceed 50 cc's piston displacement,
- The engine is rated a 2.0 horsepower or less,
- The power drive system does not require the operator to shift gears, and
- The top speed is 30mph or less on a level surface.

If a unit exceeds any of these criteria, it is considered a motorcycle.

My moped goes 35mph on a flat surface. Could I tell the manager that State of Michigan defines it as a motorcycle and park it as such?
posted by Forerunner343 at 2:48 PM on May 7, 2012

So, it sounds as though your lease says that automobile parking can only be used to park automobiles, and motorcycle parking can only be used to park motorcycles. Since your moped is neither an automobile nor a motorcycle, you're not entitled to park it in any of the parking spaces, and you should use the bike racks for it. If you can get it classified as a motorcycle, you may be able to get a motorcycle parking space for it, but you'd have to use a space designated by the property owner as motorcycle parking, not park it in the front of your existing automobile parking spot.
posted by decathecting at 3:02 PM on May 7, 2012

Yeah, it sounds like the apartment complex doesn't like you doubling up in a space and not paying them extra for the extra space.

However, your complex may further be constrained by laws specific to your municipality. Look there for rules and local ordinances.
posted by mibo at 3:41 PM on May 7, 2012

You may also wish to check at www.mopedarmy.com's forums. 1977mopeds is/was Michigan based and very helpful and knowledgeable about these details. Their contact details are here. Talk to Dan, he is/was in Kalamazoo. (I note they've got a brick and mortar now in SF)
posted by infini at 4:42 PM on May 7, 2012

Response by poster: 1977 Mopeds is actually where I purchased my moped from! Back in 2006.
posted by Forerunner343 at 8:57 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ask around on Moped Army. If you make a thread in the General Forum people will be happy to help.

I think your management company is being nitpicky and petty. If you pay for a parking spot, I see no problem with you parking your moped there.
posted by thebigdeadwaltz at 9:24 PM on May 7, 2012

Technically, to help answer this question, we need to know the make and model of your moped ;p Do tell...
posted by infini at 9:53 PM on May 7, 2012

"Dear management company: I own a vehicle which I use regularly and which, despite its diminutive appearance, is registered and licensed in the state of Michigan as a motorcycle as per [legal statute that you quoted above.] In accordance with this, I have been parking my motorcycle in the same fashion as other motorcycles are being parked in the complex, in accordance with the rules as per [the rules as you quoted above.] However, I have been receiving notices that I am parking my motorcycle incorrectly. To avoid further concern in this matter, I am writing to assert that my vehicle is indeed a motorcycle, and to confirm that I should be parking it accordingly within the complex. If you need to see my license and registration to verify that my vehicle is a motorcycle, or if you want to discuss this matter further, please contact me at your convenience at [phone number.]"

Then, even if they don't reach out to you, reach out to them in 24 hours to confirm that the letter was received.
posted by davejay at 3:57 PM on May 8, 2012

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