Two wheels are better than four, according to a City of Melbourne plan to encourage more people to ride motorcycles in the CBD.
Endorsed by council last month, the Motorcycle Plan 2015-18 was developed in consultation with riding groups and aims to make the city safer and more attractive for motorcycle riders.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said motorcycles reduced traffic congestion and integrated well.
“Road space is one of our biggest challenges and we need to be smart about how to cater for more road users,” he said.
During a survey of inbound traffic in March last year, cars made up 72.7 per cent of daily inbound traffic, while motorcycles made up just 2.6 per cent.
However, motorcycle traffic had increased from 873 motorcycles in July 2006 to 1703 in March 2014, representing a 73 per cent increase over eight years.
Under the plan, council has proposed a number of actions including:
Considering motorcyclists when designing and maintaining roads;
Identifying potential safety hazards for motorcyclists;
Increasing free parking for motorcycles in the city centre;
Converting 20 existing on-street car parking spots into free corrals for motorcycles;
Studying central city footpaths that could cause difficulties for pedestrians with disabilities;
Supporting government training programs for motorcyclists; and
Educating all road users about motorcycle safety.
Cr Cathy Oke said the plan focused on road design, safety and parking and took into account feedback from motorcycle groups.
“Motorcycling has increased steadily in recent years, and with free parking in the city for motorbikes, it is an attractive alternative to driving a car for many people,” she said.
“However we recognise that motorcyclists are some of our most vulnerable road users, so we need to ensure that we have a road network which is safe and welcoming for riders.”