Council turns to Spring St on bike parking

The City of Melbourne has called on the State Government to take action on provision of bicycle and motorcycle parking in the municipality.

With the city’s footpaths becoming increasingly cluttered with bicycles and motorbikes, the council says planning reforms are needed to ensure new buildings include appropriate parking provisions.

A recent review commissioned by the council recommends that the planning scheme be amended to require developers to increase the amount of bicycle and motorcycle parking in new developments.

It recommends developers be required to provide parking space for two motorcycles for every 40 car parks and increase bicycle parking from one park per five apartments to one for each bedroom.

According to the review, the number of bicycles and motorcycles entering the city each day will double over the next 10 years, rising from 11,000 to 22,000.

By 2031, current trends would see 36,000 cyclist journeys in Melbourne each day while more rapid growth could see up to 54,000 cyclists on the streets on weekdays.

The council predicts that five times the current amount of bicycle parking will be needed by 2031, while the number of motorcycles needing parking in the CBD is expected to increase from 2680 to 5000.

According to Cr Rohan Leppert, the issue of increasing parking provisions within Melbourne had been raised multiple times by the council and the State Government needed to make it a priority.

“The state needs to take some responsibility. It is its job to deal with this issue urgently. If it doesn’t have the capacity to do it, it needs to very quickly restructure the way the scheme is set up so we can do it ourselves,” Cr Leppert said.

“Every year that we lose is thousands of new dwellings built without adequate parking provisions built into it, so the opportunity cost is very large.”

“It means we’re just creating a much bigger problem for future councils to try to retro-fit solutions with on street parking and that’s going to be very expensive to the ratepayers of City of Melbourne, when it actually affects everyone.”

Cr Cathy Oke also expressed frustration, saying the council had increased the number of on street bicycle hoops, following requests from cyclists, but this was not a solution.

“We can’t keep putting more hoops on valuable real estate, our footpaths, when we know that walking is the number one mode of transport and we need to make sure our footpaths are free for the greater number of people,” Cr Oke said.

“So we need the planning scheme and the new buildings to also play their part in providing adequate end of trip facilities for commuters and this is one way we can do it.”

Councillors unanimously agreed at the April 5 Future Melbourne Committee meeting to authorise CEO Ben Rimmer to write to the Minister for Planning requesting he consider the recommendations of the off-street bicycle and motorcycle parking review.

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