Footpath parking ban protest a ‘success’

Footpath parking protest

Riders who staged a protest today (February 21, 2016) against a motorcycle footpath parking ban in the Melbourne suburb of St Kilda have claimed it a success, despite a moderate turnout and some riders allegedly being booked.

The protest was sparked by rider Darren Carson when footpaths around St Kilda were ruled out for a six-month trial ban. He was concerned the ban would become permanent and spread throughout the city. 

However, Darren said he didn’t attend after being warned off last week by Facebook posts claiming there would be a police crackdown and a bogus post that said the protest had been called off.

Independent Riders Group spokesman Damien Codognotto says that despite the bogus post, the protest attracted up to 700 riders throughout the day. He expected more, but says good weather encouraged riders to head for the hills instead.

He says he did not notice any bad reaction from drivers deprived of a parking space, local retailers and cafe owners or riders being booked.

“However, at 3pm I got a call from a rider in Acland Street saying police had begun booking riders. No details. The phone dropped out,” he says.

Acting Sergeant Van Maanen from the Port Phillip Police Service Area was not available for comment and no other police were available to confirm or deny that riders were booked.

Footpath parking protest

Damien says IRG, Freedom Riders Australia members and a few other motorcyclists were on the scene by 7am.

“There were three police lock-up vans parked near the corner of Shakespeare Grove where some of the no-parking signs were,” he says. 

“By 8.30am another van and a patrol car had joined the overtime fiesta. A few more motorcycles trickled in.”

He says Sgt Van Maanen told him no one would be booked if they behaved.Footpath parking protest

“By 9am more bikes were arriving. Police withdrew up side streets or went on patrol.”

He says a group of Tasmanian riders on their way to the Great Alpine Road stopped to take part in the protest, demonstrating how motorcycle tourism brings significant money to the state.

Footpath parking protest

“Riders came and went. A highway patrol car cruised through a few times. I suppose at the peak there would have been 250 bikes with many of them taking up a whole car bay when parking.

“We handed out flyers explaining that if the police/council had not taken our parking without consultation we would not have to park this way. Sorry for any inconvenience. Car drivers were OK with that. Shop keepers were happy.

“All in all we all had a good time and did what we came to do which was to make the public aware that motorcycle and scooter riders had been treated most unfairly over parking.”Footpath parking protest

City of Port Phillip spokeswoman Fiona Blair says the six-month motorcycle parking ban trial was in response to “many complaints” about the large number of bikes parked on footpaths and “excessive noise”.

Damien says riders and local businesses were never consulted about the ban.

He says the next stage of the protest is to bombard council with “polite” emails (assist@portphillip.vic.gov.au) and text messages (0432 005 405).

Footpath parking protest

“We need to establish a popular base to argue from and request a meeting with all stakeholders on parking,” he says.

Damien says it seems the council and some police officers want riders out of their suburb.

4 Comments

  1. I have been a rider for 40 + years but I have to say you get no sympathy from me if people are complaining about noise. Some of your bikes are ridiculously noisy and for no other purpose other than to make a noise.

  2. Why has the clothing store placed a rack of clothes right where the exhaust fumes of a vehicle whether car or bike would damage them. That seems like a no brainer for deliberate provocation by the shop keeper to an verbal argument or trying to claim footpath public space for themselves to expand their shop area vacated by the bikes.
    Hope the coffee tastes good with the Ducati exhaust fumes on startup too.

  3. The guy who originated it didn’t show because the Police might be there and the main agitator arrived by Tram. That speaks volumes about how this “protest” went!

    1. I thought it meant that they expected to be carted off.
      Motorcyclists exercise what I call healthy paranoia, it is the belief that everybody is out to get you just because you ride a bike ;->
      Seriously if you don’t think that way you really are a mobile organ bank!

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