Two Wheelin’ in Cincy + Update

Norwood might be an unlikely place to sell Vespas and other scooters, but I encourage you to check out Metro Scooter. They sell scooters, gear, and safety equipment. Many of the scooters they sell get upwards of 75 miles per gallon, and some even get 100mpg or better.

Like cars, scooter prices vary depending on the size, style and features, but unlike cars, scooters are far less expensive. They range in price from in the $1,000’s to around $3,000 and up. These vehicles are great for traveling in an urban environment while being light on the wallet, but there are other positive benefits as well.

Parking and maneuvering a scooter downtown is easier than a car. They take up less space than cars, so more people switching to scooters will reduce the need for parking spaces, increasing the room available for economic development. Taking more cars off the road also reduces congestion and emissions. Be sure to check out this great article for more on the scooter scene in Cincinnati.

Two-Wheeler Parking Program Update:
The City’s Department of Transportation and Engineering (DOTE) has been studying the current two-wheeler parking locations throughout downtown over the past couple of months. In addition to the study they have continued to receive lots of community input about where future locations might be best suited.

From early results, one of the most popular parking locations is the 6th & Walnut spot which also happens to be the closest location to Fountain Square. As a result the City is really trying to find another location with close proximity to Fountain Square to offer the 6th & Walnut parking spots some relief.

So far the City has identified three additional two-wheeler parking locations in the downtown area. Mel Thomas, from the DOTE, is really encouraging people to continue to send ideas for more spots as their next round of studies will start to look at additional neighborhoods outside of the downtown area.

Another item that will eventually be studied is whether to keep the parking spots free for two-wheeler users, or whether the city should start charging some kind of rate for the spots. All of this will be worked out as this is still a “pilot program” and is assumed to have kinks that need to be worked out.

Thomas encourages people to share their thoughts on all this and more by June 5th by sending emails to

Proposed additional two-wheeler parking locations (GoogleMap) Downtown:
  1. 100 Central Parkway (Adjacent to Coffee Emporium, close to the Gateway Garage and Kroger Bldg.)
  2. 639 Main Street (Adjacent to the Aronoff Center – Fifth Third Bank Theatre, close to Fountain Square.)
  3. McFarland Street at Elm Street (Close to the Enquirer Bldg at 312 Elm.)
Photo from Scott Beseler

Two-Wheeled Goodness

For the past month, the City conducted an online poll, gathering input from drivers of scooters and motorcycles regarding where they would like to park in the downtown. Given the rise in gasoline prices and environmental concerns, and the fact that many scooters can achieve over 100 miles-per-gallon, the uptick in demand should be followed up with additional services and facilities for this mode of transport.

The benefits are immediate: scooters and other lightweight two-wheeled vehicles take up far less room than an automobile. They cause far less wear and tear to roads as they are vastly lighter — in fact, many can be picked up with two bare hands. They require less fuel, and four-cycle motors pollute far less than automobiles.

As a result of public input, the city unveiled its first dedicated, public scooter and motorcycle parking in the city on October 23 at the corner of 8th and Vine (GoogleMap) streets in downtown. Noted as the first of its kind in Cincinnati, it will certainly not be the last; four other such locations will soon grace our downtown streets with the hope that the low-cost initiative is expanded elsewhere.

Unfortunately, many of these parking spaces look temporary. Painted stripes on the ground and signage on poles may allocate room for parking, but it does little when you pass by it and note a sport-utility vehicle or commercial van occupying the entire strip. Installing low-cost curbs or barriers along the street can solve this issue, and will not only increase safety, but institute a psychological barrier that these parking areas are permanent, and are dedicated solely to the two-wheeled variant.

Now only if the city was more proactive in applying the same enthusiasm to bicycles, we would have a much more intermodal city.

If you would like to see this program extended to your neighborhood, or somewhere near your business/residence, then please email the City at