Campaign Against Illegal Motorcycle Parking

31 August 2009

Free parking for motorcycles and scooters hasn't stopped riders from illegally parking on inner-city footpaths and roads and we're about to get tough on offenders. Over the past year we have provided extra on-road parking spaces for about 100 motorcycles and scooters in the inner city, bringing the number of motorcycle parking spaces in the central city to about 450.

Motorcycles illegally parked on a footpath

Motorcycles illegally parked on a footpath

Despite this, many riders continue to illegally park their bikes and scooters on the footpath all day, causing a hazard for pedestrians. Others park their bikes in the manoeuvring spaces at the ends of parallel parks, preventing cars from being able to safely get in or out.

We get lots of complaints from the public about illegally parked bikes and we're about to embark on a campaign to let riders know they will be ticketed if they continue to park illegally. The campaign will involve tying 'message straps' to motorcycles parked illegally in the central business district, reminding riders that they should find a correct park just like any other vehicle user. This will be followed up by an enforcement campaign. Tickets could range from $60 to $200 depending on the type of offence.

The Council's Infrastructure Performance Manager, Jon Visser, says the number of motorcycles and scooters being parked on the footpath has escalated since the rise in petrol prices because more people are using them to get to work. "We estimate the number of motorcycle commuters has increased from about 500 to 1000 a day since 2006. People commuting to work on motorcycles should be parking in public or private parking buildings so that other motorcycle users who need to come and go during the day have more space available to park on the road."

Jon says the worst area is on Grey Street between Lambton Quay and Featherston Street. "There are so many bikes parked on the footpath that people with prams or wheelchairs can't get past and need to go on to the road to get around the bikes."

He says some riders may not realise the problems they are causing because they park their motorcycles on the footpath in the morning and leave in the evening when the footpath probably isn't as busy. "If they realised the danger to pedestrians, and to their bikes, with people tripping over them they might change their habits. With the weather improving, it's vital that we get the bikes off the footpaths so that road renewal works, increased pedestrian numbers and the many activities that typically occur over summer can take place safely."

Jon says the Council's Footpath Management Policy makes it clear that footpaths are for pedestrians. Motorcycle users are expected to park correctly and complete their journeys on foot like everybody else.

Motorcycle and scooter parks are marked with signposts and are located all over the central business district, including Featherston Street, The Terrace, Lambton Quay, and Willeston, Victoria, Wakefield, Willis and Dixon streets. Motorcycles can also be parked in many public and private parking buildings. For a detailed map of available parks check out our website.