OUR RIGHT TO RIDE:
FOOTPATH PARKING BAN AT MCG DUE TO MOTORCYCLES SEEN AS HOSTILE VEHICLE RISK
(this is the response I received from the MCG - Melbourne Cricket Ground)
Heather... Thank you for your correspondence regarding the parking of motorcycles at the MCG and Yarra Park. After carefully assessing the security risk of having unattended motor vehicles in close proximity to patrons and infrastructure, the MCC has instituted a 30 metre “exclusion zone” from the concourse. This “exclusion zone” applies to both general public cars / vehicles and motorbikes and compliments the water filled barriers that are currently in place to help mitigate the risk of Hostile Vehicles and unauthorised vehicle approaches.
As a consequence of this measure, an alternative area has been identified for motorcycle parking on event days. The granitic sand area on Jolimont street near the corner of Brunton Avenue ably accommodates motorcycles and is in close proximity to the stadium and concourse. Motorcyclists also have the option of parking in Yarra Park like other vehicles, albeit outside the “exclusion zone”.
The MCC has enacted these practices in the interests of public safety and is comfortable that alternatives in close proximity are available to those who wish to park nearby.
Yarra Park Operations Manager
Melbourne Cricket Club
MOTORCYCLE FOOTPATH PATHING UNDER THREAT
BY RODNEY BROWN 25/3/2017
Motorcycle Footpath Parking is under threat within the inner City of Melbourne
For many years, motorcycle footpath parking has been and is intrinsic to the culture of Melbourne, a historic motorcycling precinct, and I am certain motorcyclists do not wish to lose any more parking spaces. Elizabeth Street has been the home of motorbike retailing in inner Melbourne since 1903, the longest-existing such area in the world.
COULD BE GONE WITHIN THREE YEARS!
The storm clouds of a show down are brewing to maintain motorcycle footpath parking from those who do not want motorcycles parking within Melbourne’s inner city limits.
Motorcycle footpath parking has been wound back over the years and I envisage within 3 years motorcycles will not be able to park on Melbourne’s inner city footpaths for some of the following reasons:
Public Transport Association (PTA)
Pedestrians are being crowded onto the roads, particularly in peak times. The PTA recommends banning motorcycles parking on busy footpaths. (No recommendations banning push bikes together with push bike hoops erected on busy footpaths!) (Ref. Herald Sun March 23, p. 16-17).
Royal Auto Club of Victoria (RACV)
"Why have the city's footpaths become parking bays for motorcycles? They hinder traffic. Would a better use of this space be cycling lanes similar to many European cities? (Ref. RACV Magazine Dec. 14/Jan 15, p.11).
"Would a better use of this space be cycling lanes?" (RACV do not even want us using up road space to park our motorcycles.)
Complaints from motorists and pedestrians
Pedestrians have complained to the council that motorcycles are an obstruction, noisy and are a danger to them when ridden on and off the footpath, saying they are fearing for their safety.
Motorists are complaining to the council that motorcycles are increasingly taking up road side parking spaces due to push bike footpath parking forcing them off the footpath. (Personal communication with a parking officer who has been employed for more than 30 years with the Melbourne City Council).
Footpath parking for motorcycles has been reduced by:
No parking zones for motorcycles. Behind one ‘No motorcycle parking on footpath” sign in St Kilda there are several pushbike hoops erected on the footpath!
- Cycle stations in Melbourne. One cycle station is equivalent to parking a large bus permanently on the footpath. Motorcycles do not take up permanent footpath space.
- Push bike and pedestrian sharing foot paths.
- Thousands of push bike cycle hoops are in place on many footpaths, with more to be erected. Melbourne is the pushbike capital of Australia and appears to be modeling itself on the Copenhagen bicycle strategy.
- Signs, bins, seats and other furniture all taking up footpath space.
- Push bikes parked inappropriately on the footpath; for example bike laying flat on the footpath and/or locked to sign posts.
- Melbourne’s trend to having footpath style cafes as in Europe.
Centre road parking.
With increased numbers of motorcycle riders travelling in and out of the city for various reasons, additional parking space is needed. Parking areas should be safe to enter and exit and be in close proximity to motorcycle precincts and cafes/stores/shops frequently visited by riders. However, I would oppose losing motorcycle footpath space in favour of centre of road parking.
Push bike riders riding in the inner city have the numbers and the political might to obtain on and off road facilities such as shared footpaths and on road bike paths. Their submissions to government are sound, very well researched and appear to have precedence over motorcycle riders who have justified needs and wants. They also have very strong team of representatives who are able to pull everyone together when needed and get action on their concerns.
I would strongly oppose any change to footpath motorcycle parking, in the form of bans, time limits, reduction or fees.
This is a real issue. Who from the motorcycle community is going to stand up and protect motorcycle footpath parking?
For the above reasons, I wish to express my deep concern about the possibility of moving motorcycles off the footpath and into centre of road parking and into high rise car parks with parking fees.
MOTORCYCLE ROAD SAFETY:
DISCLAIMER: Both in the US and in Australia, motorcycle safety advocates are reluctant to push the point of 'motorcyclists being 35 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than car drivers', as mentioned in the introduction on both these lists. The issue with this statistic is there are only a very small number of motorcyclists compared to car drivers on the road and when riders don't adhere to safety standards, death is a likely outcome . The stats don't account for all those riders who are responsible on the road.
Wear a helmet (compulsory in Australia) and ensure it is fastened,
Wear protective clothing,
Ensure they have adequate training as a learner rider,
Do not ride at excessive speed,
Ensure they are seen ie. riding with headlight on,
Never assume other vehicle drivers can see you (ie. defensive riding),
Extend their peripheral vision to anticipate other drivers making a turn and and not become the victim of a SMIDSY - Sorry Mate I Didn't See You).
Ensure brakes and tires are to safety standards
Take care when riding at night and in wet conditions, especially after long periods of dry when vehicle exhaust residue has built up on roads.
DO NOT ride under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
There are many other factors to keep motorcyclists safe such as wearing hearing protection (as noise causes mental fatigue and limits concentration), not riding when tired as micro-sleeps also occur when riding a motorcycle. Wearing adequate warm clothing when riding in cold conditions as this also fatigues a rider. But also remember you can become quickly become fatigued and dehydrated when riding on hot days too.
Stay safe, Stay up right.
(Heather Ellis is a member of MEAP - Motorcycle Expert Advisory Panel, which advises the Victorian Government on motorcycle road safety and reports to the Transport Minister)