City of Melbourne: 300 More On-Street Motorcycle Parking Bays
17th May 2019
By Rob Salvatore
City of Melbourne recently announced in its 2030 Draft transport strategy, that it is proposing to put in place 300 new on road parking locations to ease pressure on congested footpaths. Many riders are concerned that this is the beginning of the end for footpath parking in Melbourne's CBD. We don't think so.
VMC's response to the original strategy discussion document highlighted that there was some significant anti bike bias in the strategy. Engagement with CoM since then and observation of what CoM has said about bikes publically has seen a softening of the wording used. That said, if you have any views about the proposal, jump on the participate site and make sure you register your views with them. We haven't dropped our vigilance and neither should you. https://participate.melbourne.vic.gov.au/transportstrategy
What the actual proposal says is that these additional 300 parking spots will be targeting areas with significant pedestrian congestion. The proposal is not about banning parking throughout the city and replacing it with 300 spots. If you disagree, the VMC would like to see what in the strategy document lead you to that conclusion.
CoM (or any council in Victoria) can't unilaterally ban footpath parking (FPP) since it is enshrined in Victorian Road Safety Road Rules, Rule 197. The government would need to reverse the road rule and argue that the change is justified in the face of nearly 30 years of otherwise good working experience.
CoM can only install a "no motorcycle parking" sign at each location they wish to place a parking restriction and must be able to justify/demonstrate the need. Every council has had this right since FPP was made law.
The reality is that when there's another 500,000 pedestrians a day turning up into the city, powered two wheelers would struggle to park legally on some of these congested footpaths due to the bike becoming an obstruction to pedestrian movement. The road rules gives riders the privilege of parking on footpaths so long as the bike doesn't obstruct pedestrian movement. If CoM are going to provide alternative parking options in meaningfully close areas, then that sounds more like them trying to work with us than against us.
The question really is, is 300 enough? We'd also like to know, are these spots going to be free (every other on street parking provided so far to ease foot path congestion has been free) and do we have assurances that CoM remains supportive of the motorcycling and recognise it as a congestion beating and road efficient form of transport?
Image credit: Daniel Bowen
Website: City of Melbourne: 300 More On-Street Motorcycle Parking Bays