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Saturday, June 10, 2023

Officials look to change rules for moped parking on campus

UW-Madison Transportation Services is working on an initiative that would discourage students from driving mopeds from class to class throughout the day, officials said Thursday.

Transportation Services Director Patrick Kass said part of the initiative includes a new policy for moped parking, where students would buy a permit for a specific lot rather than parking in the lot nearest to their destination. There would be several lots available across campus open to all permit-holders.

Kass said UW-Madison has the largest number of moped users of any college campus in the nation, with nearly 1,800 moped parking permits issued this school year.

The large ridership leads to increased traffic, which Student Transportation Board member Laura Checovich said can be dangerous.

“I think the amount of congestion we see leads to very dangerous situations,” Checovich said. “Getting mopeds off the streets during passing times will really improve what we see on campus.”

In the past year, there have been 96 reported accidents involving mopeds on campus, including one Monday involving a biker and a moped driver on the 1600 block of Linden Drive, resulting in the biker being sent to a nearby hospital.

But sophomore Wisconsin football player Michael Trotter said driving a moped is no different from driving any other motor vehicle and as long as the driver is not reckless, it is not necessarily dangerous.

Trotter said the additional travel time required to walk to the designated moped lot could make it difficult for athletes to quickly get from class to practice or a meeting in a short time.

“At the end of the day, classes can end at 2:15 and we have to be at meetings dressed by 2:30, so we don’t really have time to walk to a lot that’s even just five to 10 minutes away,” Trotter said.

But Checovich said having a specific parking spot could help students better manage their time.

“I think once you have a set parking spot that you know you’re going to, you’re going to be able to plan better to make sure that you know where you need to be and when in order to get to all of your activities on time,” Checovich said.

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