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Call for flexible motorcycle parking rules

Harley Rider Lance Wensley fined for parking between two cars flexible
Harley Rider Lance Wensley fined for parking between two cars

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 flexible
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.

  1. The same problem exists in Sydney CBD, where Sydney City Council views motorcycle riders as a potential seat on the bus in their transport strategy. We need more representation at this level to influence strategy.

  2. I got a parking ticked when I was 100% INSIDE a motorbike only parking space because it has internal bays and I wasn’t in one.. I was clearly out of the way but fined for obstructing pedestrians…. Pedestrians INSIDE a marked motorcycle parking bay…??

    I challenged the ticked on the basis that no liability exists and it was waived, although they kept their story that I was obstructing pedestrians and issued a formal warning instead and declared the matter CLOSED… no further correspondence… they maintained the offense occured but would have had their arses kicked in court…. This happened in the ACT around May this year… A sad revenue joke when a bike is booked for parking inside a bike parking bay…

  3. I got fined 260+ dollars at Wategos in Byron Bay for parking on the end of the parking bay.

    The Byron Council now makes millions in parking fines since making most parking in the shire paid parking.

    It makes sense for them to fine everyone. It makes money.

  4. Who organizes motorcycle protests?
    Here’s a simple idea to get the councils attention.
    From about 5am take a couple thousand motorcycles into the city and fill every car park that you can find. For Brisbane, fill the city, Fortitude Valley, Bowen Hills, Spring Hill, any and all of it. One bike per bay, stay all day by rotating bikes throughout the city. Spend a few dollars in the meters, it’ll be worth it.
    On work days fill parking at half a dozen major railway stations. Always one bike per bay.
    The cost of all day parking would be worth it to completely take over Southbank when a major event is on.
    If there is no parking for cars the message will soon get across.
    Bike parking should be free, everywhere. Easing congestion should be encouraged.
    Food for thought.

    1. If the legend is true that tactic was employed in Melbourne during the 70’s hence the street parking. Or so I was told.

  5. Both my motorcycle and a car were issued infringement notices for sharing the same parking bay in Willoughby, Sydney a few years ago

    I wrote a detailed complaint to Willoughby Council pointing out that they had no motorcycle parking bays in their council area and that the parking officer could not tell which vehicle was parked in the bay first so had no legal basis for writing an infringement on either vehicle

    I also pointed out that car owners became frustrated when a motorcycle parked towards the end of a car parking bay and many would attempt to park in the bay and knock the motorcycle over in the process of parking

    The infringement notice was withdrawn and within 12 months motorcycle parking bays started appearing within the Willougby Council area

  6. Looking to part at Melbourne Airport and discovered that they charge bikes the same as cars! Outrageous!

  7. Motorcycle parking should ALL be free.
    Motorcycles should travel thru tunnels & tollways for free.

    Nothing wrong with parking motorcycles on the footpath; moaners are jealous because they don’t have a bike.
    Dog in the manger.

    In the 70’s Qld govt decided to make motorcycles travel at 80k in 100k zones eg motorway.
    Police, public, safety nutters etc all said it was a good idea.

    One Sunday afternoon, a big group of bikes assembled & rode from the coast back to Brisbane at 80k, blocking all lanes.
    HUGE traffic jam.

    Everyone promptly forgot about bikes travelling at 80ks 🙂

    If you’re not prepared to do that, you’ll just have to bend over & take it.

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