Sydney has reduced CBD kerbside parking to accommodate bus, pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure, prompting a petition for more motorcycle parking space.
Petition organiser and commuter rider Emma MacIver (pictured above) says the city is lagging behind Melbourne and the rest of the world and Motorcycle Council of NSW parking subcommittee delegate Warren Cartledge says council’s lack of consultation with riders on the issue is “disappointing”.
Emma’s petition has gained more than 1100 signatures in three weeks with virtually no publicity.
She points out that about 100 riders were recently fined $257 each in the Barangaroo zone in the CBD because of the reduction in available parking spaces.
“That’s $25,700 in revenue from fines for the City of Sydney from one motorbike parking zone in one day,” she says.
“How does City of Sydney justify e-bikes being dumped anywhere in the city, obstructing foot traffic, yet motorcyclists are fined at the first opportunity?”
‘No plans’ for motorcycles
City of Sydney infrastructure spokesman says the reduction of kerbside parking is part of the Sydney City Centre Access Strategy and they have no plans to increase motorbike parking in the CBD but points out that available metered parking is free to motorcycles.
“Instead of increasing commuter parking, the City is committed to policies that help limit unsustainable growth in vehicle traffic. The City is advocating walking, cycling and public transport to encourage a shift away from private vehicle transport,” he says.
However, Warren points out that a recent MCC NSW survey found that 33% of riders commuting daily to the CBD would switch to a car if motorcycle parking was no longer available.
“This in turn would lead to more congestion on the CBD road network and create more pollution within the CBD,” he says.
Emma has written to council pointing out that scooters and motorcycles significantly reduce road congestion and are much more eco-friendly than cars.
“We are part of the congestion solution, not the problem,” she says.
“By reducing the number of motorcycle spaces, you are increasing congestion by forcing riders into cars as seen in the MCC’s survey.
“More people would switch to cars than public transport due to lack of viable parking. You can park up to 10 motorcycles in the space of one car.”
She also points out that the number of people riding to the CBD has increased in recent years, yet the City of Sydney is “actively reducing accommodation for riders”.
Sydney lacks consultation
Warren says councillors at a recent City of Sydney Neighbourhood Parking Policy meeting promised to consult with the MCC NSW before making decisions on parking.
“During that meeting I stated the the MCC would be more than happy to actively and collaboratively work with the COS to identify areas that would be suitable for motorcycle parking in the CBD that did not detract from the city’s plans,” he says.
Emma has also asked to be involved in parking discussions saying the city has “completely neglected and discriminated against thousands of people who commute to the CBD each day”.
“Significantly more consideration and dialogue must be had on this issue,” she says.