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Is Melbourne footpath parking under threat?

Footpath parking threat bays plan centre strategy siege
Footpath parking in Melbourne

The Independent Riders Group in Victoria is concerned that Melbourne’s much-vaunted motorcycle footpath parking is under threat.

They claim the threat comes from a growing number of pedestrians, a strong cycling lobby claiming footpath space, comments by a former RACV boss, an MCG parking ban and alternative road-centre parking.

However, the rival Victorian Motorcycle Council describes the claims as “scaremongering” and says there is only an issue about parking around Luna Park in the City of Port Phillip which they are involved in resolving.

Melbourne has been a shining light for the rest of the country with its free motorcycle footpath parking which is enshrined in their Future Melbourne Committee Road Safety Plan. It is vital as an example for other cities that the system remains in place.

A Melbourne City Council spokeswoman says they have delivered on all the outcomes outlined in the plan.

“State law is that motorcycles can be parked on the footpath anywhere In Victoria, unless it is explicitly stated otherwise, for example, via a parking sign,” the spokeswoman says.

“Footpath parking for motorcycles is not being phased out in the City of Melbourne.

“Our Road Safety Plan 2013–17 states that Council may restrict footpath parking in some areas for safety reasons. However, dedicated on-street parking would then be provided to allow parking for the same number of motorcycles.

“The City of Melbourne has received very few complaints about motorcycles parked on footpaths in recent years.”

Cyclists and pedestrians

Cyclists and pedestrians are competitors for footpath parking spaces and their growing number in all cities is a definite concern for all riders.

They have very well-organised and politically strong lobby groups that are appealing to many politicians.

Therefore, it is important that motorcyclist representative groups continue to keep pressure on councils to acknowledge the advantages of motorcycles in the CBD.

Thankfully, the major cities are recognising this fact. In Brisbane, a special working group of motorcyclists is being assembled to help council find more parking solutions.

200 motorcycle parking spaces lost threat
Austroads report on parking

RACV parking threat

As for the claim that the RACV is against motorcyclists, it is based on old quotes from a former boss.

A spokeswoman says the quotes were “taken out of context” and were personal beliefs and not those of the RACV.

“The RACV encourages motorcycle and scooter riders to park their bikes in accordance with the guidelines developed by the former Victorian Motorcycle Advisory Council,” she says.

A copy of the guidelines for motorcycle parking is available on the RACV website.

No parking problems at Gasolina threat
Free footpath parking in Melbourne

MCG parking ban

As for the MCG motorcycle ban, it is extended to all motorised vehicles, not just motorcycles, says spokesman Ben Corfee.

“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,” he says.

“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.”

The security concerns are certainly valid given last year’s tragic Bourke St incident and the recent London terror attack.

Besides, the MCG has identified an alternative area in Jolimont St specifically for motorcycle parking on event days.

Centre parkingParking motorcycles Sturgis rally act threat

Rider advocate Rodney Brown says he is concerned that various pressures will force motorcycle from footpaths where parking is free to paid centre-road parking which he says is a higher risk to riders.

A move from free to paid parking would certainly be a disincentive to riders, however our society seems to be moving more toward more user-pays systems.

We would hope that if they do, concrete island buffers would be introduced to help protect riders mounting and dismounting their bikes.


In response to a website that highlights badly parked motorcycles and calls for a ban on footpath parking, we suggested flyers be placed on offending vehicles to make them aware of the quite comprehensive guidelines on footpath parking.

The IRG has now taken this suggestion on board.

Even if this poses no threat to footpath parking, illegal parking by a minority of riders sets a bad example in the community for all motorcyclists.

  • What do you think about free motorcycle footpath parking? Leave your comments below.
  1. “scaremongering” That’s a bit rich coming from the illustrious VMC, cough cough.
    Shall we take a small look back in history, was it not the VMC, its minions and trolls that, via, scaremongering that actively discouraged the CPP footpath parking protest, supported, not organized, by the IRG.
    Clearly the VMC is not abreast of the goings on, and is not aware of the very active campaign against motorcycle footpath parking.
    As the VMC so vehemently claims, to represent all Victorian riders, with its membership numbers, then surely the VMC should take a major proportion of the blame, in not educating its riders, to thoughtful, footpath parking, unlike the examples used in the document to highlight and add legitimacy, to the call for stricter controls over motorcycle footpath parking.

    As always
    Ride free, ride safe

    1. The fact of the matter is that the VMC had nothing to do with the negative and vocal reaction from some riders about the protest ride. That was a grass roots reaction.

      VMC went out of its way NOT to undermine the protest even though it did not support a protest at that point in the conversation with CoPP.

      In fact, as stated to DC and even an IRG supporter club that chimed in to bring the VMC to heel, the VMC had no desire for the protest to fail because if it did, the embarrassment would be bad for motorcycling. There was NO undermining what so ever. I’m pretty sure you won’t believe any of that, but I ask you to let yourself believe it for a second and then consider what it means that the protest was not supported by riders across the board. What does that say about protests, about the reasoning behind this protest and about the savvy of some riders out there in this day and age?

      And Grumpy, Motorbike writer took Rod’s article and tested each key point with the organisation that was claimed to have footpath parking in its sights and to a word they all supported footpath parking. Explain then how the article didn’t misrepresent the threat to FPP?

      Riders parking badly will mess this privilege up for motorcycling, so the suggestion to encourage riders to park better is genuinely excellent. Let’s starve this one website depicting poorly parked motorcycles of any more material to publish.

      1. “The fact of the matter is that the VMC had nothing to do with the negative and vocal reaction from some riders about the protest ride.”

        If it looks like a duck, smells like a duck, and tastes like a duck its a Duck.

        I say your statement Rob, looks like BS, smells like BS, and I don’t need to taste it, I already know its BS.

        You personally may or may not have been actively in involved, however an element within the VMC most certainly was.

        As always
        Ride free ride safe

        1. So don’t answer my question Grumpy, just hide behind another faux name, as usual. What evidence do you have to support your contentions? Surely you would have kept screen shots of posts? No? Like spreading fanciful stories to all the clubs you get a leg in about the VMC and myself without proof, you’re not helping riders, just continuing the factional BS that destroys the credibility of advoacy. But you don’t care about riders, not really. Just your mates.

  2. A must read for “Doubting Thomas”

    Motorcycles/scooter parking on footpaths- In a crowded city, this doesn’t make sense.

    Thank you very much Mark – (Motorbike Writer) your suggestion to leave a “Motorcycle warning notice” on bikes not correctly parking has been taken up by the IRG and brought to the attention of Victorian Roads Safety Minister. Also, the need to update the parking guidelines. Good one Mark, I will let you know how that is progessing. Rodney Brown

  3. again you keep showing the photo (very top) of bikes parked in private property under the Telstra building. This is not council footpath area. Stop showing this parking every time you mention footpath parking in Melbourne.

    So are they going to ban bicycles from parking on the footpaths as well??? seeing they take up as much space as a motorcycle.

  4. Footpath parking is an absolute asset to Victorian motorcyclists, but there are far too many who park in a manner not consistent with the guidelines; quite probably because they are not aware of what those guidelines are.

    However, that cannot be said of the knuckle-headed, selfish and self-interested traders of Elizabeth Street who are consistent and egregious abusers of the privilege. If anyone will spoil this for us, it’s them.

  5. France allows mopeds and motorcyclists to park on paths and it works *incredibly* well. The whole of Aus should adopt the policy so it encourages more people to commute on motorcycles and we gain all the knock-on effects it brings: other motorists more aware of motorcyclists and easing congestion.

    Your flyer idea is good to get the guidelines across to bikers who don’t follow them yet.

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