Mo-ped drivers face new University rules

Riders will have to park at designated spots and get permits.

 Moped parking areas are being increased all over campus to help free up bike racks.

Erin Westover

Moped parking areas are being increased all over campus to help free up bike racks.

by Andre Eggert

Mo-ped drivers at the University of Minnesota will face new rules and enforcement this year as part of a change in how they can park and ride on campus.

The new rules, which took effect Aug. 30, do not allow mo-ped drivers to park at bicycle racks and require all mo-peds to get a permit from the University.

The reason for the change is an increase in the number of mo-peds on campus, said Jacqueline Brudlos, a spokeswoman for University Parking and Transportation Services.

“Mo-peds have just boomed on campus,” Brudlos said. “The biggest reason for the change is to free up room for bicycles to park in bike racks.”

Safety was another reason for the change, according to University police Lt. Troy Buhta.

“The problem was that [mo-peds] could park at bike racks, but they’d have to drive over sidewalks or go over heavy pedestrian areas, and we had some problems,” Buhta said.

The new permit program would require everyone who wants to park at the newly designated mo-ped parking spots to sign agreements acknowledging Minnesota mo-ped statutes as well as University regulations, Buhta said.

Mo-ped riders will also have to show their driver’s license and have their vehicle identification number and license plate information on file.

While the new rules took effect Aug. 30, Buhta said mo-ped drivers will receive warnings for parking at bike racks through Oct. 1, when full enforcement will begin. Then a citation will cost around the same price as a parking ticket $45.

There were few expenses for the changes, Brudlos said. Only one of the mo-ped parking spots needed to be repaved, while the rest were simply repurposed. The total cost for the project was less than $20,000, she said.

Many of the mo-ped parking spots are near the edges of campus, farther away from classrooms than most bicycle racks.

“The challenge really is when you get into the center of campus you’re having a lot of buildings, a lot of footprints and it really is a challenge to find a space for mo-ped parking area,” Brudlos said.

Current mo-ped parking is not static and will change once real-world use is inspected. “It’s a work in progress,” Brudlos said.

Katie Leinenkugel, a student who uses her mo-ped to get to campus, said she was unaware of most of the new rules.

“I’ve seen the new racks and signs. Other than that, I don’t know much about it,” Leinenkugel said.

Most mo-ped riders use them to get to campus, so it makes sense that most of the parking spots are toward the edges of campus, away from where all the people are walking, she said, but added that the new mo-ped permit rules might be arduous.

“There are some mo-peders that get a little annoying at times, so I can see why they want to do it, but it seems like sort of a hassle,” Leinenkugel said.

Leinenkugel said that her mo-ped driving will definitely change with the new rules and edge-of-campus parking spots.

“I suppose I’ll be doing a lot more walking,” she said.