In a bold move to prove that the phrase ‘intelligent and progressive politician’ isn’t an oxymoron, the Melbourne City Council will give motorcycles and scooters preferential treatment over cars and trucks in the Melbourne CBD as part of a new plan to reduce traffic and parking congestion in Australia’s second largest city.
Not only will the plan assist riders to more easily find parking when working or shopping in the city, but the council hopes that such perks will encourage more people to ride into work rather than drive. Perks include removing paid street parking spaces for cars and replacing with free motorcycle parking and continuing to allow motorcycles to park on footpaths.
The Melbourne City Council also intends on using its planning powers to force developers of new offices towers and residential apartments to create more motorcycle parking and supply lockers to riders to place their protective gear in. The legislation, titled the 2015-2018 Motorcycle Plan will by voted on by councilors next week and is expected to pass.
The council said that a “shift from cars to motorcycles” would free up parking space, as up to up to six motorcycles or 10 scooters can be parked in the space required for a single car. The plan has the strong support of the Victorian Motorcycle Council (VMC) and the Independent Riders’ Group whose spokesman Steve Bardsley said while he believed there was a place for all types of transport, “it has to be acknowledged that cars are the main cause of congestion”.
As this site has stated before, we believe policies such as this will begin to become the norm rather than the rule due to the economic climate most western nations are faced with. Governments no longer have the budgets to continually expand road and public transportation networks. Legalising lane splitting and implementing other policies that encourage people to ride rather than drive is a virtually free way to reduce congestion.
This is backed up a study from Belgium which showed that if only 10 per cent of private cars were replaced by motorcycles, commute times in peak hour could decrease by up to 40 per cent. The economic and social benefits are enormous.
Source: The Age