Should motorcycles and scooters be allowed in bicycle lanes for short intervals at a limited speed to free up inner-city commuter traffic?
It’s not such an unusual proposal.
Motorcycles and scooters have their own lanes in several countries including New Zealand.
Even VicRoads considered it for inclusion in the lane filtering rules after it was recommended in a 2014 online cycling survey.
Unfortunately, the proposal was rejected, but now many be the time to reconsider.
As pandemic restrictions ease, many people believe public transport is a health risk.
This could turn the commute from lockdown to gridlock as train and bus commuters return to their cars!
So the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries is calling for more people to ride to work while the cycling lobby is asking for $300m to be spent on more bike lanes.
Since bicycle lanes rob traffic lanes of space, making lane filtering more difficult, perhaps the two proposals should be viewed together and motorcycles and scooters allowed to share bicycle lanes!
Bicycle lanes trial
Long-term motorcycle advocate Rodney Brown made an application in 2015 for motorcycles and scooters to use bicycle lanes.
He is now calling for the issue to be reconsidered.
Rod does not believe motorcycles and scooters should travel in bicycle lanes for the whole of their journey.
He suggests a six-month trial where motorcyclists and scooter riders are allowed to use them only for short parts of the journey where traffic is congested, not just at intersections where they can access bike lanes now.
“This would have a number of benefits, including easing of traffic congestion, improving rider safety through reduced motorcycle and scooter crashes, better use of road space and an environmental win as a result of reduced emissions,” he says.
The Australian Motorcycle Council says it would also like to see a national approach to the issue.
“We would also like to see the Queensland filtering rules allowing the use of bicycle storage box use by powered two-wheelers at traffic lights, which occurs regularly with no reported issues by either cyclists nor motorcyclists; proof indeed that the two types of single track vehicles are quite able to co-exist in the use of public road space, despite the best endeavours of some groups and some bureaucracies to decree otherwise,” a statement says.