Of all the vehicles on the road in Taiwan none is more ubiquitous than the scooter. They’re everywhere, zipping up and down streets and sidewalks alike, sometimes carrying whole families, several puppies, groceries–all at the same time.
It’s estimated there are more than 15 million scooters in Taiwan (Google it) and one needs only to walk down the street to realize that finding parking for them can be damn near impossible.
A friend of ours recently offered to loan us a scooter (to help me out with my recent job search and because he had nowhere to put it) and we happily accepted, promising not to destroy it. The first night it was in our possession it was towed from in front of our apartment building. We figured it would be fine parked next to a row of other scooters, but were mistaken and shelled out NT $800 (about $27) for a lesson learned.
Hoping to avoid being towed in the future, I decided to enlist the help of my iPhone to compile a short list of tips for choosing a place to stash the ride.
#1. White lines are your friend
As a general rule, when you see parking slots painted white, you’re in the clear to park. In busier areas you might have to pay a small fee for these spots, usually via a small ticket that a meter maid attaches to your ride. Pop into the nearest 711 to pay it.
Keep in mind that actually finding an open white slot can be easier said than done.
#2. Sidewalks are for walking, except when they’re for parking.
This is a parking grey area. Technically it’s not legal to park on the sidewalk, but if it’s directly outside outside a business (in this case, a casino) whose patrons have claimed the sidewalk for parking, give it a go, but try to get a spot in the middle of the pack to give you a buffer in case the tow fellas show up. Parking on the sidewalk during the day for short period of time is generally acceptable, but leave it over night and there’s a good chance it’ll end up at the impound lot.
#3. Be mindful of the yellow “X.”
The yellow “X” is a certified no parking zone. You usually see them in the lone space where one can access the sidewalk to enter a building. This one has the advantage of side-rails for added parking deterrence.
But every rule has an exceptional asshole who is above it.
#4. A little wiggle room is helpful.
Don’t be afraid to move the scooters around you for added space. I assure you no one will think twice about moving yours. I’ve come downstairs many times to find that some prick has taken my scooter off the prop-stand a put it on the leaning kickstand so they could squeeze their ride in, scratching my muffler to hell in the process.
Teamwork is sometimes required to achieve the perfect fit.
#5. When all else fails, stand guard and wait for something to open up.
Why make loops around the block when you can wait and enjoy the finer things in life?
Have parking tips of your own? Drop them in the comments section. Find me on Instagram @jaywoodson.