Noosa in Queensland is leading the way for two-wheeled transport with an equal number of motorbike parking spaces as car spaces in its main street and an official policy to encourage their use.
This contrasts with Sydney which has recently reduced its CBD kerbside parking to accommodate bus, pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure as part of the Sydney City Centre Access Strategy.
The Sydney move has prompted commuter rider Emma MacIver to launch a petition for more motorbike parking spaces.
Noosa scooter strategy
Meanwhile, there is no such problem with motorbike and scooter parking in the popular tourist resort of Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
The town is notorious for its traffic and parking problems. In busy tourist seasons, it is not uncommon for traffic to be tailed back 1km to the main street.
So part of their solution is more motorbike parking space.
In just 500m of the main street, there are 44 spaces allocated to motorbikes and 44 for cars, excluding loading zones. While the car spaces are time limited to two hours, the motorbike spaces are not timed. All spaces are free.
One of the reasons for the equal number of motorbike spaces is the popularity of scooters as a transport alternative in the area.
Queensland, along with Western Australia, allows drivers on a full licence to operate a 50cc scooter without requiring a motorcycle licence.
Hopefully tourists who visit the beach Mecca get a taste for two wheels while they are there and maybe get a full motorcycle licence when they return home.
The Noosa Transport Strategy 2017-27 is designed to provide infrastructure and services that give priority to scooters as well as pedestrians, cyclists and public transport over private cars.
They are also doing a feasibility study on priority transport lanes for “sustainable transport modes” including scooters and will look at ways to “encourage the use of motorbikes, scooters and electric bicycles including priority parking”.
Noosa Scooter Style owners Scott and Andrea Macken say the process of becoming motorbike and scooter friendly started about 13 years ago when two councillors visited Milan and noted the scooter culture.
“I helped them identify where motorbike parking in Noosa would benefit the community,” he says.
“Council has seen the validity of that so now it has developed further and is continually growing.
“You can fit six scooters per car parking space.
“Small communities like this have an opportunity to create a fun environment.”
He says the two-wheeled community of Noosa has matured beyond 50cc models.
His dealership has also expanded to include motorcycle brands such as Benelli and Royal Enfield.
“We are now the largest regional retailer in Australia of Vespa and Royal Enfield because of the work done by the local council.”
He says local police have also been helpful and not harassed riders.
“They do their job responsibly, but they’re not Draconian. They are supportive because it helps the community,” he says.
Lessons from Noosa
Other cities and shires should learn some lessons from Noosa and realise that two-wheeled transport is a viable alternative to cars and a solution to the lack of parking, traffic congestion and air pollution.
Brisbane is struggling to find more parking spaces, but refuses to allow footpath parking as in Melbourne.
And Sydney has refused to increase motorbike parking despite a recent MCC NSW survey that found one in three riders commuting daily to the CBD would switch to a car if motorcycle parking was not available.