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Should motorcycles be allowed in bicycle lanes?

Cyclists in bike lanes ride to work day lane filtering bus lanes reward

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.Motorcycle lane

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

Rodney Brown Rider's call for ute tarps rejected bike lanes
Rodney Brown wants motorcycles and scooters t be allowed to use bicycle lanes

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.

Bike lanes

“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.



  1. Not so enthusiastic about this, combining slow moving traffic with fast. Can just see cyclists and motorcycles both edging up to the front of the lights. Plus bicycles have no rear vision mirrors, going to be a lot of startled cyclists, and that’s not so good.

  2. Contrary to what some Lycra Nazis think motorcycles using cycle lanes would make it safer for cyclists too.
    Cycle lanes are often totally empty with only the occasional cyclist peddling hard and not paying sufficient attention to the deadly morons in the lanes around them, the morons not seeing anything in the cycle lanes forget that there can be cyclists so they often act as if the cycle lanes aren’t there and don’t bother to look when driving over or in them.
    Motorcycles being somewhat more visible and more common would remind the morons that the lanes are there for a reason, also the motorcycles will help keep the lanes free of dangerous debris. When I cycle I often find things in the lane that could take out a tyre or cause a crash that would not be a problem to a motorcycle, a motorcycle would sweep them aside or if large enough the biker would stop and move them as I have done on a few occasions. A motorcyclist is more likely to see a dangerous object than a cyclist , we are able to pay much more attention to our surroundings even on a sport bike. If we are allowed to use the cycle lanes we are less likely to ignore hazards that might be in them and just ride past.

  3. I’m generally in favour, but bicycles and motorcycles have very different speed and acceleration profiles, so I think it should be with a strict rule against overtaking within the bike lane. Maybe a 50km/hr speed limit as well, which is a pretty fast clip for a bicycle.

    1. It is just filtering in a lane that is often completely empty most of the time.
      The greatest danger when filtering is idiot pedestrians and cyclists who do not think before doing something that could put them in the path of a motorcycle or car or bus.
      Scooter riders are often worse than cyclists and pedestrians because they are often very under skilled but over estimate their and the scooters abilities, instead of being more aware of their surroundings they are often as oblivious as cagers and cyclists.

  4. Such sharing would work well if motorcyclists can be relied upon to be well mannered rather than bullying. Shared pedestrian and bicycle paths are ok in theory. However, in practice bicycle riders are both rude and bullying of pedestrians in way too many instances. If such a move comes my way to vote I’ll be voting against, based on personal experiences.

    1. Do you actually ride a motorcycle? And if so do you only ride on sunny weekends.
      What you say about cyclists is true but not motorcyclists.
      We tend to not like bouncing off the ground and any contact with a cyclist is very likely to cause that. Also having a motor we can easily go around them.
      Cyclists are often dangerous dimwits because they have to concentrate on keeping the rhythm etc and staying in the zone. I have personally witnessed cyclists do really stupid dangerous and arrogant things on occasion resulting in them becoming unwilling passengers In motorised vehicles with sirens.

      1. Yes Al. I walk, cycle, 4 wheeled vehicles, 3 wheeled Spyder and 30Km plus/year on 2 wheels.
        Kings of the road need to be kept on the roads where they can’t quickly approach walking peds or peddling cyclists from behind with an expectation that their way will be sacrificed for the heavier, faster less maneuverable motor cycle..
        Road kings usually blame the other person/rider/driver for not being aware of their apparent greater right to to use shared roadways. Walkers and cyclists are abused by road kings who class them as lesser beings who need to give motor cyclists free reign.
        Other users are stupid, huh? I bow to your Kingship …. not.

        1. There are morons who ride motorcycles true but they usually spend more time in hospitals getting bones pinned and skin grafted than riding.
          The greatest danger to cyclists is themselves and their oblivious to the rest of the world attitude to their own safety. It is really stupid and ignorant to think that a motorcyclist filtering in a cycle lane would be so much a king of the road as to expect a cyclist to somehow teleport out of their way when their is nowhere for them to go, only German vehicle Ute and suv drivers tend to exhibit that level of entitlement and imbecility.
          No motorcyclist wants to be picking their bike up off the ground so they do their best to avoid doing so. Only cyclists and many scooter and spyder riders exhibit the level of intelligence needed to not see running into something as problem.

  5. Spot on Robert. Some motor cyclists show little regard for most other road users. To start mixing ‘kings of the road’ motor cyclists with slower, more fragile road users is asking for trouble. Having been passed, while walking on a shared pathway, by bicyclists who come up behind quickly and expect slower users to ‘get outa my way’ can b a real frightener. Motor cyclists can be ever so much more agressive, uncaring and/or ignorant.

  6. I vote ‘yes’ & regardless of what we ride, drive, pedal or walk on, we all should drop the ‘me’ & display at least some courtesy in every activity.
    Yes & I’m just as guilty, we all need to manage our expectations & reactions, especially now, in our new COVID-19 normal.

  7. Motorcycles and bicycles. Not good bedfellows. It can only end in tears.

  8. Interested to know who these “Kings of the road ” motorcyclists are?

  9. I can see it working, and also not. It’s a tricky one.

    I’m not sure I’d like to ride my motorbike in a cycle lane if there were cyclists in it as well. It introduces a whole other set of variables to deal with. Maybe if the cycle lane is empty at the time, then motorcycles could be allowed to use them? Conversely, I’m not sure as a cyclist I’d fancy going toe to toe in the cycle lane with a thumping great Harley when commuting to work on my bicycle.

    Drafting a sports bike to work at 50+ kph might be fun though! Hehehe! 😉

  10. The Motorcycle Riders Association in Melbourne does not favour bicyclists sharing their lanes with motorcycle & scooter riders. There are several reasons including speed differences between push & motorbikes. A significant reason for not lobbying for motorcycles and scooters to be allowed in bicycle lanes is that it alienates the powerful bicycle lobby when we should be working with them. Don’t pick a fight you can’t win. Bicycles and motorbikes have much more in common with each other than with car drivers so an alliance makes sense. The MRA supports motorcycles & scooters being allowed in bus lanes in Victoria. The Hoddle Srtreet trial shows that works. We oppose separate lanes for motorbikes in traffic. We support separate stop lines for motorbikes where suitable to compliment traffic filtering laws.

  11. I thought this was a joke until I read the article. I’m definitely not in favour – it will only create problems between bicycle and motobike riders.

  12. Might as well here in NQ just wasted space as very few cyclists actually use them

  13. I would be in favour as long as there is a speed limit imposed on scooter and motorcycle riders along with respect shown to cyclists who should get right of way before motorcyclists.

    It would be a great idea especially for commuting to work.

    I ride both motorcycle and scooter and never did see the sense in sitting behind stationery traffic on a scooter when i could easily and safely use the bicycle lane at a max speed of say 30kph.

    I mean we share all other roads (without bicycle lanes) now don’t we?

  14. Belgium allows motor-scooters to share bicycle lanes. Obviously at restricted speeds. I think it is a great idea. It would be much safe to filter to the front of stationary traffic in a designated lane rather than between lanes.

  15. An interesting and thought provoking graphic overlooking Northcote, one can but dream.

    “”Motorcycles and scooters have their own lanes in several countries including New Zealand.””
    Pray tell, whereabouts in New Zealand? I’ve never seen or ridden in one.

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