Waverley Municipal Council will increase the availability of free motorbike parking in the LGA, with plans to double the number of spaces at Bronte and to investigate suitable areas for more parking in Bondi.
Waverley Mayor Sally Betts said as part of Council’s commitment to sustainable transport, some free parking was already available for motorbikes and scooters, but Council will explore further options.
This includes the creation of at least two new motorbike ‘pods’ at Bondi Beach, and three in Bondi Junction, with each pod delivering a minimum of four motorbike spaces.
“Members of our community are calling for more motorbike parking opportunities and Council is listening,” Ms Betts said.
“We want to respond to the needs of our community while managing the differing parking needs of cars and motorbikes in our LGA.”
An online petition has been organised by local multimedia artist Uri Auerbach, with over 600 signatures gathered to try and address the shortage of motorbike parking. Mr Auerbach is calling for a fairer ticketing price system.
“Parking officers have traditionally let motorcycles park for free, up to the displayed time limit, as it is impossible for a bike to securely display a ticket,” Mr Auerbach said.
Currently motorcycles must pay the same parking fee as cars in metered areas, despite motorcycles taking up approximately a quarter of the space of a car.
According to Mr Auerbach, motorbike parking falls into a “grey area” in Council parking legislation and he is asking for a formal ruling to end the undefined status of motorcycles.
“Rangers can fine bikes legally, as there is no formal exemption from the ticket law for bikes – although they haven’t done so for the 20-odd years that we have been parking motorcycles in Waverley,” Mr Auerbach said.
Waverley Councillor Leon Goltsman said just like cars, motorbikes are classified as motorists, and therefore the same rules must apply.
“I am an advocate for cleaner means of transportation and environmental issues are very important to me … I just want things to be fair,” he said.
“[Motorbikes] use the roads just as cars do, they take up the same spot, they should have to pay.”
But Mr Auerbach said creating additional “motorcycle-only” zones cannot be seen as an adequate response to the current demands of motorbike users.
“We welcome all initiatives by Council to provide additional motorcycle parking, however we also believe that motorcycles should be allowed to park anywhere any other registration-paying vehicle is permitted to park, not just in dedicated zones,” he said.
“Current Council policy is outlined in our petition, which we believe to be unfair, discriminatory, environmentally irresponsible, against the best interests of all residents of Waverley and impractical.”
Bike riders are required by law to buy a ticket and hold it in case an infringement is issued.
A spokesperson for Council said bike riders must follow Council procedures in appealing any issued fines.
“If the bike has an infringement notice on it when the rider returns, they must mail their ticket and the infringement notice to the council and await a letter excusing them from paying the fine,” they said.
Mr Auerbach said it was an unnecessary complication.
“This is clearly bizarre and impractical: riders would have to mail hundreds of letters a year and keep track of the correspondence to ensure they are not punished even if they do buy tickets,” he said.
Council aims to double the number of free motorcycle parking spaces at Bronte by the end of the year, and assess the feasibility of additional spaces in Queen Elizabeth Drive Car Park and Notts Ave at the southern end of Bondi Beach.