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200 motorcycle parking spaces lost

200 motorcycle parking spaces lost cyclists
Bicycles, motorcycles and scooters should be able to park on footpaths

Brisbane CBD will lose up to 200 designated motorcycle parking spaces after work starts in December 2016 on the new Casino development.

The State Government has confirmed that approximately 60 spaces will be permanently lost in Alice Street, William Street and Queens Wharf Road. There are 140 more spaces which will be closed during construction of the boardwalk, bikeway and foreshore works in mid-2017.

Map of existing motorcycle parking spaces now in jeopardy

Some cities view inner-city motorcycle parking and footpath parking as an important method of freeing up parking spaces and easing congestion.

However, this latest setback comes as the Gold Coast City Council recently rejected footpath parking for motorcycles and scooters after a trial that started late last year.

Motorcycle footpath parking has been legal in Victoria for some years and has been introduced in more recent years in parts of Sydney and Brisbane, although with varying restrictions, and Adelaide is expanding its CBD footpath parking trial.

Footpath parking in Melbourne

Footpath parking is also common in many European, American, Asian and New Zealand cities where it is seen as a progressive move to encourage more two-wheeled transport to free up traffic congestion and parking spaces in big cities.

Brisbane currently has a restrictive practice of designated footpath parking areas delineated by white lines.

Compared with Melbourne’s more liberal laws on footpath parking, it means a lot fewer available spaces.

Brisbane riders often complain that if they are not in the city by 7am, all the available motorcycle spaces are gone.

The situation is about to become a lot worse, a Council spokesperson confirms.

“Council is working with the State Government to identify opportunities to provide alternative sites to temporarily relocate the parking spaces impacted by the QWB development,” the spokesperson says.

“However, given the limited spare land in the CBD, relocation of all the impacted spaces may be difficult without assistance from the State.”

Rider Gary Davis says Brisbane motorcycle and scooter commuters are doing their bit to reduce congestion, pollution and the strain on public transport, but have to run the gauntlet of parking fine inspectors.

“The Brisbane City Council in recent times have really done little by way of increasing the number of designated motorcycle/scooter parks in the CBD,” he says.

“So, in most parts of the city, if you happen to start work any later that about 7am, you’re fresh out of luck.”

However BCC says they have installed more than 700 extra free spaces since 2012 around the CBD bringing the total number of free motorcycle parking spaces to about 1500.

Riders used to be able to park on CBD footpaths in front of state-owned buildings where the building receded further than the footpath. However, those spaces were taken away a few years ago for anti-terrorism protection.

Gary says there is a lot of confusion over where riders can legally park in Brisbane.

Even the council’s own disputes Commissioner is confused:

The issue of parking on footways is complicated by the fact that the council does not have enforcement jurisdiction over every footway in the CBD.

“The sooner this town grows up and allows motorcycle and scooter parking on the footpaths the better,” Gary says.

Support for bicycle footpath parking

Bicycles, motorcycles and scooters should be able to park on footpaths

It seems there is always plenty of room for parking a bicycle on a CBD footpath, but when it comes to motorcycles which are often no more than the width of a couple of bicycles, it seems there is no room.

Austroads recently released studies on bicycle parking and some of the issues can be transferred to motorcycle parking since motorcycles don’t take up much more space.

They encourage innovative ways of using the footpaths or even replacing car parking spaces with bicycles which would benefit local traders.

Austroads report

Here are some interesting excerpts from “Bicycle Parking Facilities: Guidelines for Design and Installation”:

“Walkers and riders visit more often than the customers who come by car and so are more valuable overall. “The Acland Street study found that local walking customers accounted for 86% of their revenue. As a result, the traders asked the Council to remove nine car spaces and widen the footpaths.

“A study of a shopping centre in Lygon Street Carlton where two car parks were converted to bicycle parking showed that twelve bicycle riders spend more than two car drivers. Changing one car space to a facility for six bicycles generated 3.6 times more expenditure in local businesses.

“This study showed that two fully-occupied car spaces generated $156 per hour. Twelve bicycle spaces with four bicycles parked generated more than $156 an hour. Fully occupied, the bicycle spaces generated $565 an hour. At times up to fifty bicycles are parked in an area with formal parking for two dozen bicycles.”

  1. Brisbane is pushing the “Green” life style, the Gold Coast believe there is enough parking for motorcyclist and if more are required a car parking space is easily converted making car owners ticked off even more. Some of the footpaths on the G.C are wide enough for angled motorcycle parking so they don’t take up a lot of room like in the 3rd photo.
    My G.C councillor asked me where was a motorcycle parking place should be put? I told him, and he agreed because of poor parking design infrastructure in that area parking was a problem.
    So removing an already hard to find car space with a Motorcycle parking is a good thing?
    In certain business suburbs Motorcycle footpath parking should be allowed.

  2. As the article says, there has been a large increase in the number of designated parking spaces in the Brisbane CBD, but demand still seems to exceed supply. The loss of any of those spaces is therefore disappointing for riders, and I’m not sure why the development in question could not have been required to retain or provide a new parking area in the vicinity. I guess not enough casino goers ride motorbikes.

  3. Hi folks, I’m the whinger mentioned in Marks article above. If you would like to have your say in relation to Brisbane CBD motorcycle parking, I encourage you to do your bit and email the Brisbane Lord Mayor on and the State member for Brisbane Central (Grace Grace) on Without the cooperation of these 2 elected reps we as riders are going to get right royally screwed over. Cheers.

  4. All this after they have to reduce trains due to a lack of drivers? Public transport is woeful in Brisbane, and pedalling up and down those hills in 30 degree heat is stupid. Hence why that retarded city-cycle idea never took off. The sheer volume of 1 occupant cars in Brisbane is crazy, especially going to the city. Every morning, everyone I filter past has 1 person inside (usually on their phone) stuck in gridlock. Then you have 60km zones, with a bus stop every 100m or so, so the left lane is held up by half empty buses constantly stopping, disrupting the flow. Throw a few “cyclists” in there for their peak hour peleton and those main roads go nowhere. Easy solutions as follows;
    1) All new train lines must be “trenched”, or dug in below the road. Level crossings and bridges either disjoint or hold up traffic during peak times. (how long does a boom stay down while a train crawls into the station?- too long)
    2) Space bus stops further apart, and make actual slip lanes so the bus is off the road and out of the lane, not impeding flow. Put the stop “after” a set of lights in the direction of travel. That way the intersection can sense the bus ready to move off, halt traffic behind it and let it move. (have sensors in the stop marked. Bus stops on one, passengers embark/disembark. Once ready to move, bus rolls and stops on sensor pad. Signal goes to traffic lights and they cycle to red. Traffic stops. Bus moves off. Lights resume normal cycle.
    3) ban push-bikes on roads marked 60km/h or greater, unless there is a dedicated lane for them. Enforce that they stay in their lane. Not on the line between the lanes. Their whole body and cycle must be inside their bikelane.
    4) all push-bikes are not to be ridden 2 abreast in traffic. This is obstructing traffic, especially with the speed difference.
    5) re-instate T3 lanes. Only 3 pers occupied cars and PTWs are permitted in these lanes. Extend the hours from 0500-2230.
    6) congestion charge for large vehicles going into cbd.
    7) reduce cost of clem7 tunnel to $3.20.
    Oh, and a big wish – all manhole/service covers are never to be on the road, access is to be via service hatches on the footpath.
    And annual roadworthies, so many crappy old cars out there dripping oil over the best/safest riding lines.

    Not to much to ask, is it?

  5. You just don’t get it, motorcycles are not welcome in Queensland!
    The state government (past & present) has done all it can to discourage motorcycling from the mandatory requirement to hold a car licence prior to obtaining a motorcycle learner licence through extending the time period you must hold an RE licence before graduating to an open licence not to mention the LNP’s VLAD laws which gave the police at the time the excuse to harass anyone on any motorcycle as well as reinforcing the public’s perception that all motorcyclists were a bad bunch.

  6. The overall use of space by Councils is generally woeful. On the Sunshine Coast, where I live, there are ample areas on roads, on footpaths and in designated car-park areas which could easily be repainted to accommodate motorcycles – instead they are painted with zebra stripes so nobody at all gets use of them.
    When I was on 2 wheels – I was abused numerous times by motorists of questionable intelligence for taking up “car” parking spaces with a motorcycle. Now that I’m on a Spyder, thankfully that has not happened for a while.
    Like JamesB says – it’s ridiculous the amount of single occupant vehicles. Maybe if we got them out of their cars and onto cycles then there would be significantly less congestion and more understanding – a winning situation for all.

  7. Thanks Gaz for the email addresses, I’ve written to both regarding the matter and suggest other riders do likewise. We need our voices to be heard or Brisbane will believe there has been no impact to our community

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