10 Guidelines: Proper parking etiquette for riders

#9: When you accidentally damage a bike next to yours, don’t just run away
by Aris Ilagan | Jul 6, 2019
PHOTO: Aris Ilagan

You are probably scratching your head as you enter a parking area and to witness how the number of motorcycles in the country had multiplied tremendously in the past years.

Parking lot operators are now at a loss on how to accommodate the growing number of two-wheelers that enter their facility. Finding a parking space at commercial centers in Metro Manila used to be a problem only for car owners. But now motorcyclists are also being haunted by the same issue.

Problems lead to stressful living. And when stress becomes mismanaged, people tend to do stupid things that lead to more problems. Our advice to motorcycle owners: Stop, breathe and think. Always follow rules and regulations laid out by traffic enforcers and parking operators so as to maintain discipline and order in a parking area.

To fight stress and other complications in life, try these 10 good manners when you leave your bike in a parking area:

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1) Park only at designated areas.

Do not attempt to push your luck by leaving your bike in a corner or on a sidewalk that is not intended for motorcycle parking. Remember, motorcycles are lightweight and can be carried off by three or four security guards; it might send you panicking later trying to figure out where your unit was taken because you had disobeyed parking regulations.

2) Don’t jump the line.

The habit of skipping right to the front of the line just to be ahead of others seems to be inherent in many Filipinos. Surprisingly, when these people go abroad, they follow rules and regulations diligently. Always observe the ‘first come, first served’ rule. Riding a smaller vehicle does not give you the right to ignore the queue.

3) Maintain proper spacing in between motorbikes.

When you see that it’s already impossible to fit your leg in between the parked bikes, it would be advisable—not to mention safer—to look for another parking space instead. A cramped slot might only lead to an accident as you force yourself and your motorcycle into a tight spot. And when your bike accidentally falls, it could lead to a domino effect. Imagine the cost you’d have to pay for damaging the other parked motorcycles.

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4) Don’t lock the steering when your parked bike is blocking another unit.

Not even if you’ll be away for just a few minutes. Give the security guards the means of moving your bike to make way for other motorcyclists vacating the parking area.

5) Always return a bike back to its original position after moving it to get your motorcycle out of a tight spot.

There are some parking authorities that allow double parking, but this arrangement should require riders to be responsible enough to move other bikes back to where they were originally.

6) Follow the painted lines.

The long row of parallel lines in some motorcycle parking areas is not there only for aesthetics. Those lines are there for a purpose: To guide the riders in parking their motorcycles in an orderly formation. This arrangement allows for equal space between the motorbikes.

7) Never leave your trash on the seat of the bike next to yours.

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This is a clear sign of disrespect for others. All you have to do is walk a few meters and we’re pretty sure you’ll find a garbage bin.

8) Never touch the helmet on the other bike.

Some riders easily get mesmerized by the helmets of people, so the temptation is there to pick up a cool-looking lid and try it on. But good breeding means not touching things that don’t belong to you—and not attempting to try them on. This goes beyond the issue of hygiene.

9) Honesty is the best policy.

In case you accidentally scratch the paint of the bike next to yours, or you unintentionally causing it to fall, do not hesitate to report the incident to the parking authorities. Always keep in mind that commercial establishments are required to install CCTVs, and it’s not a remote possibility that the incident was caught by a surveillance camera in the area.

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10) Prepare exact change for the parking fee.

Be considerate—after all, it takes longer for a motorcycle rider to raise his helmet’s visor, remove his gloves, and pull out his wallet to retrieve money for the parking fee. Put the money where it’s easily accessible before you set off.

If you want peaceful coexistence with other motorists out there, remember the golden rule: Do unto others what you want others to do to you. And if you have more parking guidelines for riders, feel free to share them in the comments.

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PHOTO: Aris Ilagan
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