Melbourne’s lauded motorcycle-friendly footpath parking is under threat from a discussion paper to update the city’s Transport Strategy.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp has released a discussion paper in June that suggested strategies for reducing the access of motor vehicles to the CBD for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
An alarming finding for motorcyclists is that only 3% support encouraging more motorcycles into the CBD.
That goes against all reports and studies that show motorcycles and scooters are a solution to traffic and parking problems, not a cause.
Another alarming result of the Melbourne strategy is that 80% support dedicated motorcycle parking.
That likely means removing motorbikes and scooters from footpaths and providing allocated parking on streets.
The report says that “without allocated parking, increasing numbers of motorcycles clog up the footpath as ridership increases”.
That’s a big concern for Melbourne’s riders, although if there are fewer cars and trucks in the CBD, it may mean there is more on-street parking for motorcycles.
A compromise to the current loose footpath parking rules could be allocating painted bays on footpaths as is the practice in Brisbane.
That may help placate 54% of pedestrian respondents to the paper who say footpaths are becoming overcrowded.
However, that overcrowding is not just the fault of motorcycles, but also cafes, vendor stalls and bicycle parking.
The Melbourne discussion strategy will be presented at a Council Meeting on Tuesday 11 December at 5.30pm.
Council says members of the public may provide written submissions prior to the meeting.
However, there will be no opportunity to make verbal submissions during the meeting.
Riders are encouraged to attend the meeting and protest quietly and peacefully with placards.
Concerns about strategy
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.
He says riders should object to the lack of consultation with the City of Melbourne’s Motorcycles In Melbourne Committee, the Motorcycle Expert Advisory Panel at VicRoads and other motorcycle and scooter organisations.
“There is only so much on-street space available so they can’t do much to allocate centre-of-the-road or curbside motorcycle and scooter parking,” Damien says.
“Increasing off-street bike parking only works for pushbikes (so far). Melbourne’s car park operators pay lip service to us but don’t act. Even park and ride facilities fail to provide secure parking for motorbikes. The majority of off-street car park operators do not want motorcycles cycles in their buildings.
“Painting parking boxes on footpaths is a waste of paint. Probably a move towards making riders pay for space.
“The system in place now has worked for three decades. It is good for the city.
“In my opinion the anti motorcycling culture is widespread in Victoria and this attack on motorcycle and scooter footpath parking is part of that, pure discrimination.”
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.