Can a Motorcycle Park on the Sidewalk?

✓ SAVINGS TIP Check out whether you are paying too much for your motorcycle insurance

Compare quotes to save money

Enter your zip to get started.


A motorcycle’s compact size makes it easy to transport and get to your destination. A small motorcycle can be extremely useful in many ways.

Motorcyclists are often curious about where they can park their motorcycles and whether the vehicle’s small size makes them an exception. It is possible that you have seen motorcycles parked in places that seem out of place, such as on sidewalks.

Can a bike be parked on the sidewalk? Most places make it illegal to park a motorcycle along the sidewalk, unless the bike is privately owned and the owner gives permission. The same traffic and parking rules apply to motorcycles as for other motor vehicles.

As a motorcyclist myself, I’ve often been curious about the rules about motorcycles and where they can and cannot park. I’ve been able to do some research and can explain the rules of parking on the sidewalk as well as some other helpful pointers.

Why Motorcycles Can’t Park On The Sidewalk

It is incredibly tempting as a motorcyclist to park on the sidewalk while you’re at the grocery store or some other business. Motorcycles are small and they don’t seem to be in the way too much, so what’s the problem?

I’ve heard many motorcyclists say they’ve been parking their motorcycle on the sidewalk for years and have never gotten a ticket or had any consequences. For many, this may be true. but just because you don’t get caught doesn’t mean it’s right.

Regardless of what anyone else thinks or does, It is against the law for motorcycles to park on sidewalks You can use the sidewalk to get to the grocery shop, on the sidewalk next to the road, or on your neighborhood sidewalk. It’s easy for a motorcyclist to get away with doing something like this but all it takes is one policeman who isn’t favorable and write a big fat ticket within two minutes.

The rules for motorcycles are the same as those of other motorized vehicles. Cars are not allowed to park on the sidewalk and you don’t ever really see them parked right up next to a business, so a motorcycle isn’t allowed to either.

It can be difficult to park a motorcycle. We’re required to park in normal parking spots just like cars, yet drivers still get mad about it because a small vehicle is taking up “a whole space.” Sometimes it’s risky because other drivers are unaware and think the spot you’re parked in is empty and whip right in the parking spot without seeing your motorcycle.

Parking on the sidewalk comes with its own risks. Parking on the sidewalk can result in a heavy parking ticket. A motorcycle left parked on the sidewalk can block pedestrian traffic. This includes people who use dollies to transport large items or workers trying to return a long line with carts to the store.

You may not get respect from all the people who walk by your motorcycle. Some of them may be annoyed that you’re parked there or you may have some children who don’t know better that touch and possibly knock over your motorcycle.

Many people argue that some bigger businesses with large parking lots aren’t monitored by the city police so there’s no chance of them getting a ticket. Although it may be true, the police have no authority over these businesses. The manager has the right to contact police to issue a ticket.

Motorcycle Parking Etiquette

Aside from parking on sidewalks, motorcyclists have some other misconceptions about where they’re able to park their vehicle. Again, it’s so easy to park a motorcycle almost anywhere but that doesn’t mean that you should.

Since you can’t park on the sidewalk, especially at businesses, that means the whole parking lot is free game, right? It’s not. Motorcyclists often park on stripe lines in parking lots, which is illegal.

Parking lots have a lot of striped lines that are intended for accessibility by handicapped people. Some people don’t understand that the striped lines are so big because some vehicles have large ramps that require a lot of space for a person with disabilities to get out of their vehicles safely. Parking a motorcycle in striped areas like this is not only illegal, it’s just straight up rude.

Some will argue that they’re not parked on the striped lines beside the handicap parking spot, rather they park on the striped lines in the isle between the shorter side of the parking spot. It is illegal to do this and it is still blocking a path for disabled people to access the business.

Motorcyclists also have a lot to say about metered parking. Some believe that they can park in between two cars parked in metered parking and/or that because a motorcycle isn’t as big as a car, they don’t have to pay for metered parking.

I personally have become very frustrated with this because in theory, a motorcycle is a smaller vehicle and shouldn’t have to pay as much as a normal car. Unfortunately, most cities don’t let you do that because anything with a motor that is parked on their property owes them money, no matter how big or small.

In most areas, it is against the law for motorcycles to park between two cars in paid or metered parking spaces. You will not only get a ticket for failing to pay the fee but also a second ticket for blocking the passageway for other cars.

There may be cars that are parked in front of your motorcycle, but they may not have enough room to move. For more information on motorcycle parking, click here.

How to protect your parked motorcycle

Motorcyclists often park their bikes on sidewalks and other prohibited places because they want to protect them. Because most people don’t know how to drive a motorcycle, they can cause damage.

One major concern I’ve heard and experienced myself is that someone will get mad that you took up a whole parking space and move your motorcycle somewhere else that warrants a ticket. There are several things you can do for your motorcycle to be safe while it is legally parked.

If you’re sharing a spot with another motorcycle, ensure that you don’t pull in too far. You should park your motorcycle so that it is not too close to the curb, but far enough that other drivers can see you easily. It may be a good idea to put some sort of neon colored cloth on the end of your motorcycle so it’s more noticeable.

If you are parking in a public place, it’s always a good idea to use some sort of motorcycle lock. The locks for motorcycles are very small and cost-effective. You can get one that locks through either the back or the front tire rim so the motorcycle can’t move. Some of them also have alarms that go off if it senses that it’s being tampered with. This will deter any jerks who try to move your motorcycle in order to park in your spot.

A Few Special Exceptions for Motorcycles

Now that we’ve covered a few things that motorcyclists can’t do, let’s go over a few things they can do and some of the exceptions given to motorcyclists.

The law recognizes that motorcycles can be considered motor vehicles and should allow for some exceptions. Many businesses have designated parking for motorcycles. And they’re usually really close to the entrance. Don’t forget to take a few minutes to look for these spots before you resort to sidewalks or striped lines.

A motorcycle can also be parked in the same spot as a regular vehicle.. This is also very appreciated by other drivers because two motorcycles aren’t taking up two whole parking spots.

You’ll need to make sure that the motorcycles aren’t obstructing any passage ways of the surrounding cars and that your motorcycle isn’t interfering with the other motorcycle if you don’t know the driver. Click here for more information I’ve compiled about parking two motorcycles in a single parking spot.

Similar Questions

Can motorcycles be fitted with handicap plates? A handicap plate can be placed on a motorcycle. A handicap plate doesn’t always mean the person has a walking or mobility issue, rather it can also be issued to those who have heart or lung diseases, a problem that would not impact the rider’s ability to navigate a motorcycle.

Is it possible for a motorcycle to use a bike lane Most places make it illegal for motorcycles to use bike lanes. Bicyclists who ride in bike lanes are not motorized, and are therefore slower than those riding in the traffic lanes next to them. Click here to see more information I’ve written about riding in a bike lane.

Leave a Comment