RACV supports plan to ban motorbikes from parking on city footpaths

Moving Well | Sue Hewitt | Posted on 14 February 2020

Authorities considering a ban on motorbikes parking on crowded Melbourne footpaths.

Motorbikes could be banned from parking on the city’s most crowded footpaths under a plan to ease Melbourne’s growing pedestrian crush. 

Authorities are considering converting 36 on-street car-parking spaces into 151 new on-street motorcycle bays and banning motorcycle parking on crowded footpaths near train stations and on narrow streets.

Line of motorbikes parked in front of Melbourne CBD building

Motorbike parking could replace street car spaces in Melbourne's CBD under a new plan to ease footpath congestion.

RACV’s senior manager transport, planning and infrastructure, Peter Kartsidimas, says RACV supports the City of Melbourne proposal. 

He says RACV was consulted on the plan, which he says will have minimal impact on car drivers but will be a win for pedestrians with less clutter on footpaths. 

“It’s consistent with council-adopted transport strategy which wants to create 300 additional on-street motorcycle spaces, freeing up footpaths and getting rid of some on-street car parking,” he says. 

“There are currently 23,500 on-street car-parking spaces and almost 200,000 off-street car spaces within the City of Melbourne so the loss of a few on-street spaces is not going to change much.” 

He says most shoppers come into the city on public transport and only 14 per cent of retail trips involve people parking on street, so the loss of a small number of on-street car-parking spots will not be an issue. 

Under the council plan, motorcycle parking will not be allowed on footpaths on either side of the road in these key areas: 

  • Sections of Little Bourke Street, Little Collins Street and Flinders Lane to create more space in the city’s narrow little streets   

  • Sections of Flinders, Collins, Bourke and William Streets to create more space around Flinders Street Station, Southern Cross Station and Flagstaff Station.   

We welcome motorcycles to the city, but as our city becomes increasingly busy we need to reduce overcrowding on certain busy footpaths.

The council’s chairman of the transport portfolio, Councillor Nicolas Frances Gilley, says Victoria is the only state in Australia that allows motorcycles to park on footpaths under the road rules.    

“We’re creating more safe space for people and providing an alternative place for motorcycle riders to park,” he says. “As a rider I understand the need for dedicated motorcycle parking and I look forward to using it.”    

He says if the plan is endorsed by the council’s Future Melbourne Committee on 20 February, the footpaths where motorcycles are banned will be clearly signposted, with new on-street motorcycle parking spaces nearby.  

“While a motorbike or scooter might not be in the way when it first pulls up [on the footpath] early in the morning, a row of motorbikes parked throughout the day can create a real hazard during the commuter and lunch rush when people are often forced onto the road to get past,” Nicolas says. 

“Overcrowding creates a real challenge for people with reduced mobility and those using wheelchairs.    

“We welcome motorcycles to the city, but as our city becomes increasingly busy we need to reduce overcrowding on certain busy footpaths.”  

There are 245 existing on-street motorcycle spaces in the central city, which the council plans to increase by 300 spaces through its Transport Strategy 2030. 

Read RoyalAuto’s exploration of the issue of Melbourne’s boom in pedestrian traffic overwhelming footpaths in The Crush Hour, in which city planners predicted the number of people living, working, visiting or studying in the CBD will grow from 900,000 in 2019 to 1.4 million in 2036.

Road safety explained: what RACV is doing to keep you safe on Victorian roads.