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Council makes ban on footpath parking permanent

Footpath parking protest - ban

A Melbourne council has voted to permanently ban motorcycles from parking on several St Kilda footpaths, but has agreed to more on-street motorcycle parking areas.

Port Phillip Council introduced a six-month trial ban on motorcycle footpath parking in some areas of St Kilda in February 2016 “for the safety of pedestrians”.

The ban prompted a protest by riders, while an online council survey found 144 of the 185 respondents opposed the six-month trial ban which extended past 15 months.

Council met last night to make the parking ban permanent.

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

Victorian Motorcycle Council vice-chair John Eacott addressed the meeting, saying riders contributed to the economy of the tourist area.

“There are 400,000 motorcycle license holders in Victoria and (in 2015) they contributed $3.6 billion to the national economy,” he said.

“You’re driving them away.”

He said the few riders who created a nuisance to pedestrians were “idiots” and the ban was like using a “sledgehammer to crack a nut”.

John urged the council to defer a decision until a “better review” could be done.

However, councillors voted to make the ban permanent.

The ban affects footpaths outside the Vineyard on Acland St and near O’Donnell Gardens, and the entrance to Luna Park.

VMC chairman John Eacott against mandatory gloves and boots injuries ban
John Eacott

John says the VMC is disappointed with the decision.

However, he says Mayor Bernadene Voss did hear his message and instructed a council officer to work out some alternatives for on-street parking.

“We were promised five options which became two, then none,” John said. “I stressed that point and she got it.

“We also have a large pavement area half way up Acland Street which has been created and will accommodate about 12-15 bikes, so overall it’s a good compromise apart from the inevitable wingers who will come out of the woodwork.

“The Mayor is to be commended for recognising that the much-promised alternative street parking was not provided and an amendment to the motion will see this reinstated.

“The VMC expect that about 20 or more free motorcycling spots will eventuate to replace the lost pavement parking.”

Cr Andrew Bond said the ban targeted “only a very small area in the Acland St precinct”, with “ample area” for motorcyclists to park in the revamped strip.

Cr David Brand said the bans were a “fair enough thing to do” to protect the safety of pedestrians in the bustling tourist spot.

Independent Riders’ Group spokesman Damien Codognotto said the ban is the “thin edge of the wedge”.

Damien and his Moto Guzzi V7 lane filtering - ban
Damien and his Moto Guzzi V7
“Since the state government quietly changed the motorcycle footpath parking law some time ago bans have been showing up here and there,” he said.
“St Kilda is a high-profile suburb so other municipalities will take note. It says to me, when there is an anti-motorbike culture in a government department, riders have to strongly oppose it or they will be discriminated against.
“Softly, softly only works with your friends.”

Under Victorian laws, a motorcyclist is allowed to park on the footpath unless there is a sign specifically stating otherwise.

Motorcycles are not allowed to block the path of pedestrians, delivery vehicles, public transport users or parked cars.

  1. This is another stupid decision by councils
    Maybe we the public should use such a survey like you used to see what people think about your decisions and bote you out
    Their are some people that create havoc but your punishing everyone.
    Were told to share roads with cars, push bikes, busses.
    I hope riders dont stop at st kilda and stop before or after your town.
    See how your business frels the loss of riders
    Businesses are screaming now as they cant afford to pay weekend employees penalty rates. But thats ok
    And if they do i hope all take a whole car park and see what your so called survey
    Melbourne councils this is a disgrace

  2. What footpath parking law was changed?

    In truth there has ALWAYS been provision for a local road authority to install “no motorcycle stopping” signs where there is a justified case. it’s been part of the traffic engineering manuals that all road authorities use.

    While the ban on these wide paths around the Vineyard and Luna Park are genuinely disappointing, the area banned was actually REDUCED compared to the trial ban area as a result of VMC advocacy so the thin edge of the wedge argument is a bit thin itself.

      1. Actually Mark, the last two lines do not answer the questions, at all.

        There has ALWAYS been a provision for the local road authority to be able to put up motorcycle no standing sign ***with sufficient justification***. And there has always been the requirement for parked bikes not to impede pedestrians. These aren’t changes that were made “quietly” or conspiratorially by Government to bring about the demise of footpath parking. But I am happy to stand corrected. I don’t want FPP to be removed and will fight for it if any of the IRG’s assertions are correct.

        What laws were changed?
        What was changed about them?
        When were they changed?
        And detail the proliferation of bans.

  3. Hi all,
    I was at the meeting last night and could see that a couple of the councillors feel that the ban is not needed, not that the vote went that way. It would seem that the police are concerned about a small number of bike riders that have impeded pedestrian traffic and are calling on council to do the dirty work.

    As John said last night, “sledgehamme to crack a nut”, a 24/7 ban on an area is stupid, maybe a time limited ban 6-12 on Fridays and Saturdays is appropriate?
    We talked with a council officer about designated spaces and the knowledge is there; if the allocated parking is miles away it won’t get used.
    A fairly large furphy was brought up tho’, and that is the loud exhausts on some bikes. This is a parking issue (and it was mentioned that the EPA can and will follow up on exhaust noise if pressed), and bringing up every possible nusiance concern to muddy the issue, doesn’t help!

    John and another local rider spoke well on our behalf, with the outcome that Council will explore options for more dedicated m/cycle parking in the area.Its a pity common sense isn’t more common, and a pity so few riders (5, by my count) showed up on the night

    1. I was hoping to make it, but as I work out of Melbourne, it wasn’t possible. I did however send a txt msg to their txt line asking for links to their community studies etc with no reply. I also made my view clear. It was easy to get the impression they had their minds made up long before the meeting!

  4. Easily fixed.
    Get a couple of hundred bikes to turn up & each parks in the middle of a car space. Stay there for a couple of hours.
    Better still, do it outside the council building just before the next council meeting.

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