Melbourne: Two-wheeled Power To Get First-Class CBD Treatment In New Plan Photo:
Trevor Collett | May, 01 2015 | 8 Comments

Melbourne City Council is keen to promote the use of motorcycles and scooters around the city’s CBD, according to a proposed new transport plan.

The 2015-2018 Motorcycle Plan would see some paid car parking spaces replaced with free scooter parking areas, while businesses and residential buildings around the CBD would be encouraged to offer lockers for motorcycle gear.

Private parking providers would also be encouraged to offer more motorcycle parking, while Melbourne riders already enjoy free parking on most of the city’s footpaths.

Council also plans to lobby Victoria’s state government to introduce laws demanding new buildings offer more motorcycle, scooter and bicycle parking to complement its proposal.

The Council hopes the move will encourage more people to ride around city areas rather than drive, thereby reducing congestion and the need for car parking spaces.

Council believes around six motorcycles or ten scooters could occupy the same space as a single car, and that the average vehicle occupancy in Australia is only 1.1 to 1.2 persons per vehicle.

The Plan also argues that more motorcycles would result in faster travel times and lower CO2 emissions.

Council has referenced a Belgian study from 2011, which found that commuting times could be slashed by 40 percent if just 10 percent of private cars were replaced with bikes and scooters.

Naturally, the Victorian Motorcycle Council (VMC) supports the proposal, but says an investment in time and resources would be required in the CBD to encourage more people to use motorcycles.

“It was good to see motorcycles really recognised as a solution to the transport problem," VMC’s John Eacott said, speaking with Fairfax.

Council plans to improve motorcycle safety in the CBD by using plastic bollards around construction sites, rather than steel barriers, while also investigating the dangers from tram separators, trees, painted surfaces and metal plates.

The 2015-2018 Motorcycle Plan is due to be voted on by Council next week.

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