Parked Vespa spawns mystery
A cream colored Vespa ET4 that has sat in the same spot through rain, wind, and snow on the upper East side over the past few months – without any form of lock or chain and the plate removed – sparked a mystery among local residents that eventually got picked up by the New York Times City Room.
After publishing the article, the owner (an Upper West Side resident) was located and quickly fessed up that they had simply parked the scooter on the UES during a day of bad weather, removed the plates, and left it there across town during the winter while they waited for the weather to improve.
The main reason the bike attracted unwanted attention was not the removal of the license plate but that it simply never, ever moved from one spot, barring a couple of entrepreneurial car owners who used the Vespa to periodically save parking spots.
As the NYT reported:
A vehicle that violates alternate-side parking rules (Tuesdays and Fridays, on that block, between East 56th and 57th Streets) is typically under the jurisdiction of the Parking Violations Bureau, but one without plates is customarily referred to the Sanitation Department. However, if it is missing only a license plate — and not stripped of tires or other essentials — it may be referred by Sanitation to the Police Department.
After the Times reported on the mystery scooter, the Sanitation Department tagged the scooter to be picked up by the NYPD because it was deemed to be in too good condition to be sent to the scrap yard, and instead the NYPD located the owner using the VIN.
The owner collected the scooter after paying a fine. They declined to comment so who knows how much the whole debacle cost them.
Lessons learned? Don’t leave your scooter for months without moving on alternate side of the street parking days. A scooter that looks derelict could literally be sent to the scrap yard – vintage owners beware. Upper East Side residents are nosy.