Local Moped Laws Frustrate Riders

Morgan Bond


5:40 p.m. EDT, June 27, 2012
Dallas McCulloch loves using his moped to get around town, but he's frustrated with the current laws that surround it.

“I would like to see some clarified laws. Have a law banning mopeds, at least I'll know,” Dallas McCulloch said.

Mcculloch works at Bartertown Diner in downtown Grand Rapids. Every day for the last three months he's parked his moped outside and locked it to a meter. The bike is only 90 pounds and an easy target for thieves.

Recently, he was given a $20 ticket for locking his bike up to city property and parking it on the sidewalk. McCulloch says he doesn't think the law is fair.

“Really, any laws you have that deters people from using fuel efficient vehicles that cut down on grid lock, I don’t get it. It`s a pretty efficient means of transportation. It`s affordable for 20-somethings like myself that don't have a bunch of money,” McCulloch said.

City law requires mopeds to follow the same rules of the road as cars and motorcycles. They have to park on the street in a metered space, or in the free moped parking at the city parking ramps.

“If it has a motor on it and it's propelled solely by the motor, then it's by definition a moped, or a motorized bicycle. By city ordnance, it`s not allowed on the sidewalks,” Sgt. Allen Noles, GRPD

Mopeds also have to be registered with the Security of State, and the driver needs a valid driver's license or a special moped license.

“This seems like this ticket is treating my Tomos like it`s a Hummer,” McCulloch said.

Mcculloch says the whole point of using a moped, is to make it easy for people to get around town and find parking. In fact, the city agrees. Barbara Singleton with the Grand Rapids Parking Department says leaders are already brainstorming ways to make downtown Grand Rapids more friendly for two-wheel vehicles.

In the meantime, McCulloch says he'll continue to lock up his moped, because he can`t afford to replace it.

“If it comes between getting a $20 ticket, or replacing a $1200 moped, I guess I will take the $20 fine,” McCulloch said.

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