Sep 24, 2014

Two-wheel trend worth encouraging

Governments around the nation should consider improved parking options for motorcycles and scooters as a means to reduce traffic congestion.

With the sales of motorcycles and scooters climbing by 25 per cent between 2009 and 2014, it is clear many Australians are using them to avoid traffic congestion and parking woes within our congested cities.

But with some exceptions, councils, which regulate parking rules, appear to have failed to respond to the trend with commensurate increases in parking options for two-wheeled vehicles.

Cities have much to learn from Melbourne, where motorcycles and scooters can be parked free on footpaths.

As we seek ways to make our cities more productive and less congested, we should encourage this trend.

There is even room for a discussion about reducing or even abolishing motor-cycle parking fees if the resulting productivity gains can be shown to pay for the lost revenue.

A study in Brussels in 2011 found that if one in ten people gave up their car and used a motorcycle or scooter, traffic congestion would be reduced by 40 percent.

That is an enormous productivity dividend.

Legislators often forget that people can sometimes find the best solutions to problems on their own.

Australians are already choosing motorcycles and scooters to help beat the traffic.

Responding with better parking options will not only help commuters, but also improve economic productivity by taking more cars off the road.