Paper threatens Melbourne footpath parking

Melbourne's Elizabeth St motorcycle district discussion paper

Melbourne has long been lauded for its motorcycle-friendly council and its free footpath parking for motorcycles, but that now seems to be under threat from a new motor vehicle discussion paper.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp has released the paper which includes dot points about reducing the access of motor vehicles to the CBD for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

It briefly recommends: “Remove motorbikes and scooters from footpaths, instead giving them allocated parking.”

That’s a concern, although if there are fewer cars and trucks in the CBD, it may mean there is more on-street parking for motorcycles.

Concerns about paper

In October 2014, Melbourne unanimously adopted a Motorcycle Plan that nurtured and encouraged motorcycles to the city.

However, the Independent Riders’ Group in Victoria has expressed concern ever since that Melbourne’s much-vaunted motorcycle footpath parking was still under threat from a growing number of pedestrians, a strong cycling lobby claiming footpath space, comments by a former RACV boss, an MCG parking ban and alternative road-centre parking.

The rival Victorian Motorcycle Council described the claims as “scaremongering”, saying there was only an issue about parking around Luna Park in the City of Port Phillip which they claimed to be involved in resolving.Melbourne zones discussion paper

IRG spokesman Damien Codognotto says the new Lord Mayor “is right to take time to assess the traffic situation in Melbourne”.

“It is complex and some methods of getting around our city get more attention than others.”

He says Transport Committee chair Nicolas Frances Gilley is “openly pro bicycle which is a good thing”.

However, he says attempts to work with Bicycle Network and Victoria Walks on matters of mutual concern and benefit have been fruitless so far.

“We knew these documents were coming and called for motorcycles and scooters, as a legitimate part of City traffic, to be considered and treated differently to cars.

“We called for motorbikes to be exempt from bans and costs aimed at keeping cars out of the CBD.”

The IRG, which is a member of the Motorcycles In Melbourne Committee has also called for an improvement in off-street motorbike parking with facilities such lockers for protective clothing and a trial of forward stop lines for filtering motorcycles.

4 Comments

  1. Footpath parking is enshrined in Victorian government legislation. A local council, whether it be Melbourne or regional, cannot unilaterally ban it.

  2. If you can have dining on the footpath and stalls on the footpath you can have motorcycle parking , street parking allows for a constant traffic flow and the need for parking spaces are reduced. Vancouver for example allows cars on the footpath to keep traffic flowing and reducing congestion.

    Or is this just a way of charging motorcycles for a parking space?

  3. To all Melbourne riders: get your act together quick before you lose the pavement parking benefit.

    Paris allows pavement parking – I am sure there are some good stats/evidence to assist with convincing Melbourne council.

    Belgium had the study below on how traffic is improved with mopeds and motorcycles (so surely the council would see the benefits of encouraging motorcyclists more with things like pavement parking)

    “The answer to the world’s urban traffic congestion may be as simple as creating policies to promote motorcycle commuting. A detailed study by Belgian consultancy Transport & Mobility Leuven has found that a slight shift in traffic composition from cars to motorcycles significantly reduces traffic congestion and emissions.

    The study, which was presented at the Association des Constructeurs Européens de Motocycles (ACEM) 2012 Conference in Brussels, found that if 10 percent of all private cars were replaced by motorcycles in the traffic flow of the test area, total time losses for all vehicles decreased by 40 percent and total emissions reduced by 6 percent (1 percent from the different traffic composition of more emission-reduced motorcycles and 5 percent from avoided traffic congestion). A 25 percent modal shift from cars to motorcycles was found to eliminate congestion entirely.”

  4. My recollection of how the on footpath parking was adopted is that in the
    80’s I think was that the MCC started fining motorcycles for parking in unmarked spots such as adjacent to tree planters in the centre of the road parking areas. Motorcyclists in retaliation parked one motorcycle per metered car park leaving a shortfall for the car drivers, who in turn objected to council. To keep the peace council adopted the on footpath policy. You know what to do if they try to take it away!

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