Most local authorities only allow one motorcycle to park in a car parking bay, ticketing all bikes when there is more than one.
However, from July 1 Canberra will trial a system to allow three motorcycles or scooters to occupy a single car parking space in an effort to encourage more riders to help resolve parking, pollution and traffic issues.
It seems like a great idea, but unfortunately the city of bureaucrats has been a bit too bureaucratic.
More than three scooters could easily occupy a car parking space. If they do, which ones get ticketed?
On the other hand, probably only two big cruiser tourers could occupy the same space. Should a motorcycle or scooter then try to squeeze in and possibly damage the other bikes?
Why nominate a number at all?
There are other issues as well. Apparently, if it’s a paid parking bay, each rider has to pay the full amount as a car, even though they are only taking up a third.
Also, there is the issue of riders possibly stealing the parking ticket off a bike that has already paid. (We suggest you take a photo of the ticket on your bike, but that’s not foolproof either.)
Apparently, parking inspectors have been advised to use discretion in fining parked motorcycles during the trial.
Apparently, the council is also consulting Melbourne and Brisbane about footpath parking.
Melbourne allows free footpath parking within certain limitations while Brisbane and Adelaide (on trial at present) allow free footpath parking only in delineate the bays which reduces the number of bikes that can use a given space.
In Brisbane, commuters say all spaces are usually occupied by 7am.
It has been suggested that riders protest the lack of motorcycle parking by riding into CBDs and occupying car parking spaces to prove a point.
That’s a great idea, but be careful about parking in private and some council parking stations where you pay on entry/exit as they will fine riders for parking their motorcycles in car bays after having paid the lower fee.
Federal Opposition transport spokesman Anthony Albanese has long been a supporter of providing more parking spaces for two-wheeled transport, recognising that we are the solution, not the problem.
That’s all well and good, but what can the Federal Government do about a local authority issue?
At least Canberra now seems to be on the ball with recognition of motorcycles and scooters.
Not only are they trialling the parking system for a year and lane filtering, but they are also considering footpath parking and have introduced a low 1% stamp duty for new motorcycles from July as part of their Vehicle Emission Reduction Scheme to reward those who buy low-emission vehicles.
Pity we don’t follow the example of South Dakota during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally which gives whole streets to motorcycles.