City of Melbourne to ban footpath parking!
The City of Melbourne is moving to ban motorcycle & scooter footpath parking.
Free footpath parking for motorcycles & scooters was introduced in the 1980s after a strong campaign by the Motorcycle Riders' Association (MRA). The aim was to encourage the use of environmentally-friendly vehicles.
Cr Clarke will put a motion next Tuesday calling for a bike ban in Melbourne's little streets. Word of the motion got to the press and there was a strong reaction.
Before the CoM votes to look at more bans:
Motorcyclists generally park carefully as seen in Little Lonsdale Street west of William Street. Each of the bikes pictured would probably be replaced by a single-occupant car if bike parking bans are imposed in Melbourne's Little Streets.
Footpath bike parking is Victorian law not a council regulation. If the CoM succeeds in changing this law, councils across the State will move against footpath parking too.
The Victorian Government has treated the motorcycle community with contempt since it took power c 1999 that it won't surprise me to see Brumby side with the CoM against riders.
In spite of repeated requests, the City has failed to provided bike parking alternatives that kept pace with the growing number of people who commute by motorcycle or scooter. Nor have they promoted the minimal off-street parking that is available.
CoM surveys show that motorcycles & scooters are a significant 2% of traffic on a weekday. This is up around 30% on 2006. Scooter sales continue to break records as people seek covenient, economical ways to commute and/or link up with public transport.
BIKE PARKING BAN LOOMS
Motorcyclists could soon be banned from parking their machines on central Melbourne footpaths under a plan before the city council.
The push is to free up crowded footpaths clogged with parked motorcycles and scooters, especially on narrower streets.
City coucillor Peter Clarke said with the increasing popularity of motorbikes, especially scooters, the time was right for a review of the CBD regulations that permit two-wheeled (DC - bicycles not included) parking on footpaths.
'The street is where you park and the footpath is where you walk,' Cr Clarke said.
Extra street parking would be provided to compensate, he said. (DC - I'll believe that when I see it. We've been calling for regulations to require off-street bike parking for years. We've been calling for 'dead space' to be made available and more centre-of-the-road bike parking. The CoM response has been minimal. The CoM has been irresponsible with its' motorcycle & scooter parking over the last decade. Make secure, free parking alternatives available and you reduce the number of bikes on the footpaths. It works for bicycles.)
The Age ran a story too: Bikers ready to rumble over parking.
The Motorcycle Riders' Association (DC - MRA) plans to fight the proposal, starting on Tuesday when the plan is put before a full council meeting.
There is a public gallery for CoM meetings. Riders should gather at the Town Hall to let Cr Clarke and Chair of the Planning Committee, Cr Ng. It would be good to fill the public gallery and have many more riders and bikes outside the Town Hall for the media.
How to Protest
Go to www.melbourne.vic.gov.au - go to council and committee meetings - public participation and find the agenda for the CoM meeting on Tuesday, October 30, 2007. CoM meetings usually start about 5 pm so riders can attend after work to support the MRA.
If you can't make it to the CoM meeting email the Lord Mayor, John So at lordmayor @ melbourne.vic.gov.au and the Shadow Transport Minister, Terry Mulder at terence.mulder @ parliament.vic.gov.au .
Let them know how you feel about this environmentally-irresponsible attack on the Victorian motorcycle community.
You can email letters to the editors of the Herald Sun and The Age at: hsletters @ heraldsun.com.au and/or letters @ theage.com.au.
Damien Codognotto OAM