Officials at the city Parking Authority say they feel terrible about the mistake, but they have to set the record straight - contrary to what an authority employee wrote in a letter to The Sun a couple of weeks ago, operators of motorcycles are required to pay for parking at the new EZ Park machines that are getting a trial run downtown and in Fells Point.
The new parking system works this way:
Motorists can use a credit card or change (no bills) at an EZ Park vending machine to order parking time - $1 an hour. The machine prints a ticket indicating how much time has been purchased, and the ticket is put inside the vehicle on the dashboard.
In a July 20 Letter to the Editor, an authority staff member wrote that motorcyclists could park in an EZ Park space for free, and Parking Authority of Baltimore City board Chairman David W. Wallace later apologized for the error.
Because the tickets would be exposed on a motorcycle, it is possible for them to be stolen, but Wallace said, "We've asked other jurisdictions where they do this and believe it or not, [the tickets] don't get stolen."
Baltimoreans might remain skeptical.
But Wallace has a theory about why the tickets aren't pilfered.
"Maybe someone tempted to take the ticket is afraid some big, burly guy might come out and catch them," Wallace said.
Wallace adds that motorcyclists can also park at traditional single-space meters and in parking garages in areas where EZ Park is being tried.