There’s no better, faster way to get around town during Mardi Gras than on a scooter. Parking on the parade route and getting from Zulu to St. Anne and running back home to use your own bathroom is suddenly a posibility. Here are some dos & don’ts while scootering through Carnival.
Do decorate your bike safely. Cable ties and magnets are good, flowy scarves, dangling beads and masking tape are bad. Extra lights and reflective stickers can only help you be more visible to all the especially crazy drivers during this time.
Don’t do Jello shots or drink anything that will impair you operating your scooter safely. You don’t want to spend Mardi Gras in the hospital OR O.P.P! Besides, your lack-of-hungover self will thank you the next day. Make sure your passenger is at least able to remain upright for the duration of your ride as well.
Do carry an extra helmet. You never know who you might run into that you might have the privilege of giving a ride to. I hear Beyoncé is in town...
Don’t park just anywhere. Tuck in tight up against a building and don’t block the sidewalk, wheelchair access, or even a bicycle rack. In the Quarter, I like to park by the fence at the Mint (where I have been ticketed twice), in front of a vacant building, or behind the Courthouse on Royal. But even if you get a $20 ticket, it’s still better than waiting for a cab or walking, right? Here’s a link to the city’s parking guide, although there’s no mention of scooters or motorcycles.
Don’t be afraid to hop on I-90 to get in “the box”. I’ve done it on a 150cc Vespa while my passenger was eating a slice of pizza - it goes slow. Take Baronne down past Howard Ave, turn left to go up on I-90, stay in the right lane, then immediately exit at Tchoupitoulas. Voilà, you’re in the box.
Do enjoy the freedom to get away from the craziness and take a nice quiet ride along the lakefront.
Have fun out there and show off your bike. Tell all your admirers that they wish they would have gone to the Transportation Revolution before Carnival!