For most college students, wheels are hard to come by, unless of course they’re attached to a skateboard or bicycle. That’s why so many at the University of Hawaii at Manoa opt for mopeds.
“It's very convenient because you don't have to walk around, you get to classes way faster,” said Xenia Suworowa, a moped rider and senior at UH.
However, parking on the sidewalk just outside of your classroom may no longer be an option for students, unless they can afford a $35 ticket. Last week, Honolulu Police officers began issuing warnings to moped drivers who parked on sidewalks along Dole Street and University Avenue. The initiative began after police received complaints from pedestrians about crowded walkways.
“I believe on our first couple of days of warning, we put over a hundred warnings out, that's how many were in violation,” said Officer Celine Aiu, a member of the District 7 Community Policing Team.
But Tuesday morning, warnings turned into citations, as police officers fanned out along Dole Street and tagged a handful of mopeds parked on sidewalks. UH Manoa Freshman Mukunda Rivet caught a break, walking out to his scooter just before an officer was about to give him a ticket.
“I'm just glad they were able to be clear on what I should and shouldn't do,” Rivet told KITV4. “It was a pleasant surprise.”
Moped riders who continue to park on sidewalks at UH face a potential double whammy. If a moped is blocking the path of pedestrians, a separate citation can be issued.
“That's a different violation, and that's a little bit more than your moped one,” said Aiu. “It's $55 for that one.”
Avoiding up to $90 in fines is relatively easy for most students at UH. A moped parking pass for the semester costs $30, or $90 for the entire year. Aiu said moped riders, not just those at UH, must use designated parking if it exists nearby.
“With a moped, you got to park either in a marked stall, or if they have a designated area, park in that designated area,” she said. “You can't park on the sidewalks.”