Park Place

On a dry day it's not unusual to see upwards of thirty scooters and mopeds assembled along the inner sidewalk of Speer Boulevard as it runs past downtown. A protest of our nation's oil addiction? A hot, new modster hangout? No, the scooters belong to students and professors of the adjacent Auraria Campus who want to avoid the $2.75 fee required to park in the educational institution's official motorcycle lots. You see, the City of Denver has an ordinance that allows citizens to park scooters (or "motorized bicycles" under 50 cubic centimeters) on sidewalks -- and the narrow ribbon of concrete is the closest city-owned property to many of the school buildings. But since Westword first detailed the occurrence last October in the article "Scoot!", motorcycle riders have been spotted utilizing the stretch as well. This includes today's appearance of a few crotch rockets and a Harley Davidson hulking amid a crowd of Vespas and Aprilias. Now that's a power upgrade. -- Jared Jacang Maher