“Can I park my motorbike on a pedestrian footpath? I see other bikes parked outside my street all the time,” enquires Lifehacker reader Anonibiker. The answer depends on a number of factors, including where you live, the diligence of parking inspectors in your area and whether you’re brave enough to take a gamble…
Bike picture from Shutterstock
In most towns and cities, it is illegal to park your motorcycle on any footpath, nature strip or center strip. Parking rules are regulated and enforced by city councils through state legislation and local laws. You can also be issued a fine by the police for certain parking offenses. Fines can be in excess of $100 and may also result in license demerit points (for parking on a footpath within a school zone, for example).
One notable exception is the city of Melbourne, Victoria. Unless otherwise signed, you can legally park your motorcycle/scooter on the footpath anywhere in the CBD, as long as you do not obstruct pedestrians, doorways, delivery vehicles, public transport users or access to parked cars.
You must ensure your vehicle is at least one motorcycle length out from the building line and one wheel length out from the road, to allow free passage of pedestrians on either side. (This means you cannot park in places where the footpath is too narrow.) You must also avoid footpaths that are near disabled parking bays, post offices, rubbish bins and reserved areas, such as street cafes.
You can find out the rules in your particular suburb by contacting the local council (a quick Google search should bring up their email and/or inquiry line). However, in 90 per cent of cases outside Victoria, parking on the footpath will not be permitted.
That said, if you fancy yourself a bit of a bikie outlaw, you might be able to get away with it on a lazy suburban street — it largely depends on how isolated your street is and how active the council is in enforcing the rules.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that pedestrians have been known to take the law into their own hands. A friend of Gizmodo editor Luke Hopewell had his motorbike pushed over for partially blocking the footpath.
“If someone kicks your bike over, you’re looking at a bent or smashed wing mirror, scratches all over the farings, possibly an issue with the exhaust if it’s exposed and fell on it, the stand might be bent and your fuel overflow might be dumping petrol onto the footpath,” Luke explains. Maybe it’s better to stick to the gutters.
Have you ever been fined for parking your motorcycle on footpath, nature strip or center strip? Do you think it should be legal to do so? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.