A Taste of Reform for Motorbike Riders
Waverley Council has passed a new motion to review current motorbike and scooter parking networks after a notice was introduced by Greens Councillor Elaine Keenan.
Cr Keenan introduced the motion after significant public opposition to a change in parking regulations within Waverley that made the cost of parking a scooter the same as an SUV.
The public outcry included several letters to the editor and articles published in the November and December editions of The Beast.
The new motion includes developing a new parking strategy for bikes and scooters, considering reduced costs for both motorbike parking and infringement notices.
It also includes a proposed 12-month trial of a free parking system like the one already in place in City of Sydney, which allows bikes to park in any ticketed zone for free, provided they observe time restrictions.
With the introduction of new ‘pay by plate’ ticketing in Waverley, motorbikes and scooters can park in metered areas without taking up a whole parking spot.
Bike owners typically park between cars when it’s safe, or up to four bikes can fit in one car parking space.
Cr Keenan believes that the issue comes down to fairness.
“We’ve got the highest proportion of bikes and scooters of any metropolitan local government area in Australia and my fundamental bottom line is that it is unfair for a scooter to have to pay the same amount of money as a big SUV when they take up a quarter of the space,” Cr Keenan told The Beast.
Bondi resident and scooter driver Tim Maunsell supported Cr Keenan’s motion.
“I live just off Bondi Road, and I have to say, in the last 30 years, the traffic is horrendous,” Mr Maunsell said in a video recorded for the motion.
“It’s no fault of the council, but they could definitely help by not restricting, or even favouring, the use of motorcycles to take up a lot less of our carbon footprint and a lot less space.”
Cr Keenan agrees that an effective motorbike strategy is in the interests of all local residents.
“My view is that if people can take their scooters out it reduces congestion and helps the environment. I’ve had my scooter for 15-16 years for all of those reasons,” she said.
Council is set to report back on the motion in June 2021, with the hope that, under point 3 of the motion, parking officers will show leniency on infringing motorbikes in metered areas in the intervening period.
In the meantime, Cr Keenan believes that residents who want equitable parking for bikes and scooters should let their voices be heard.
“People who want to speak up could start a petition and get as many signatures as possible. A lot of signatures tells Council that people really care about an issue,” she said.
If you have something to say about scooters and motorbikes, or if you have started your own petition, please email The Beast at firstname.lastname@example.org.