Call for flexible motorcycle parking rules

Recent incidents involving motorcycle parking highlight the difficulties riders face in finding safe and legal parking in city areas and the need for law makers to be more flexible.

Case 1

Gympie rider Lance Wensley (pictured above) was recently fined $48 for parking between two cars to avoid taking up a car space.

Lance was fined for parking his Harley between two car parking bays

He thought he was doing the right thing, but in the eyes of the law and the intransigent and unforgiving council he was wrong and no leeway was given.

“Most people would be astounded to find out that if you park there, even if you try to do the right thing, that you get booked for it,” he said.

Surely remonstrations to the authorities should lead to the fine being waived for his good intentions, but no!

Case 2

Canberra is still trailing a system of allowing up to three motorcycles to use a car parking bay.

Great idea, but once again the bureaucrats are being a little too restrictive. Four or more small bikes or scooters could easily occupy one parking bay, while two big tourers could easily fill a bay.

Why can’t there be more flexibility?

The 12-month trial ends on July 1, 2017.

Case 3

City of Port Phillip has banned motorcycles from parking on the footpath on a popular St Kilda strip. (Picture: Chris Eastman) - flexible
City of Port Phillip has banned motorcycles from parking on the footpath on a popular St Kilda strip. (Picture: Chris Eastman)

Port Phillip Council in Melbourne has banned footpath parking in certain areas claiming some riders were abusing the privilege and obstructing pedestrians.

Their response was wrong. Wouldn’t it have been better to put up signs about appropriate parking and fine the few offenders rather than penalising most riders doing the right thing?

Thanks to protestations from various rider groups it seems the council is now being a little flexible and seeking alternatives for on-street parking.

However, they have only identified three spaces so far and have warned that if riders don’t use them, they will be taken away.

They’re not even going to sign them until August 1, so how will riders know? 

These are photos of the sites set aside:

Case 4

Brisbane CBD lost about 200 motorcycle spaces this year with the Casino redevelopment and has been fining frustrated riders who are trying to find alternatives.

A working group of council staff and riders was formed to find alternative places, which is a good first step.

Meanwhile, we asked council for some leniency for riders and to be more flexible with the rules, but that was firmly rejected.

Fight on for lost motorcycle parking activists flexible
Lost Brisbane CBD spaces

What can we do?

Riders and their representative groups should continue to protest the intransigence of local councils and state governments over parking rules.

We can’t expect immediate response, but slowly governments will have to recognise that more should be done for motorcycle parking.

Motorcycles and scooters are not the problem, but the solution to traffic and parking problems in big cities.