Lord Mayoral candidate Martin Haese wants to allow scooters and motorcycles to be parked on footpaths in the city.
Haese told InDaily that, if elected, he would trial the idea in limited areas around the city, where pedestrians, public transport, deliveries and other movement would not be obstructed.
He said the measure would help reduce congestion, improve convenience and bring more people – especially young people – into the city.
“It’s been trialled in a number of cities around the world, and, I understand, to great success,” Haese said.
“I think this is worth a go, because we’re blessed with some pretty wide streets but we’re also blessed with some pretty wide footpaths in Adelaide.
“If it’s deemed to be safe, I think it’s a ripper of a concept.”
The policy release comes just under a fortnight before voting closes in this year’s local government elections.
Fellow Lord Mayoral candidate Mark Hamilton told InDaily he would back an inquiry into on-footpath motorcycle and scooter parking, “where this could occur without conflict with pedestrian use of the footpaths, or would otherwise not represent a safety issue”.
“(However) I would not want to see this policy restrict the ability of the Council to plant large shade trees on those footpaths wide enough to allow significant trees to be planted, and grow, with full shade canopies,” Hamilton said, in a statement.
“The Council would need to invest a significant amount of capital to facilitate safe and appropriate on-footpath parking.
“Is it appropriate and equitable that the city workers utilising these facilities make a contribution to both the cost of providing the facilities and also running the city, like motorists do.”
According to George Giannakodakis of planning consultancy InfraPlan, allowing on-footpath parking for motorcycles and scooters would have social, economic and environmental benefits for the city.
“I think it’s a fantastic initiative; it’ll certainly bring a new vibrancy to the city and I think attract more youth,” he said.
In Melbourne – the only capital city in Australia where motorcycles and scooters are allowed to park on footpaths – there are some restrictions relating to proximity to buildings, and to the kerb.
Motorcycles cannot be parked on private property, opposite disabled parking spaces, or near street cafés, post boxes, rubbish bins, man holes, taxi ranks or public transport stops.
There are also some specifically designated areas where motorcycle parking is always prohibited.
Giannakodakis said Adelaide should follow Melbourne’s example.
“The whole idea is to get better use out of your footpaths which otherwise sit as empty spaces,” he said.
“The other unintended benefit to that is that you release carparks for cars.
“It’s a shame that Victoria has actually beat us.”
Giannakodakis acknowledged that scooter and motorcycle riding can be more dangerous than driving cars, but said South Australia’s RiderSafe training program should be extended to include motorcyclists, to reduce the risk.
“(Scooters) are less safe, and you are more vulnerable, and therefore, motorists need to be educated,” he said.
“I actually believe that the RiderSafe program that South Australia has is world class and that could be extended to new users of scooters.”
However, incumbent Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood, who is campaigning for re-election, said the plan would put children and people with disabilities at risk.
“Having investigated the issue previously, there is expert advice indicates that there are risk associated with motorcycle parking on footpaths,” he said.
“Even just a hot exhaust pipe can have an impact for people with disability or children.
“Motorcycle parking on the footpath has impacts for disability access, and also outdoor dining; and it’s a space that should be designated for pedestrians to use.
“The only city in Australia that’s doing it is phasing it out.”
Fellow candidate Kelly Henderson said she was concerned about the obstruction of footpaths if the policy were implemented.
“My policy is on equitable access and I’m concerned about obstruction of the footpaths,” she said.
Henderson told InDaily she wants a comprehensive review of all car, motorcycle and scooter parking in the city.
“There’s a great level of concern across the whole city … about the problems with car parking,” she said.
“There needs to be a total review of the whole system, including the council’s permit allocations, which at the moment are restricted to residential only, which seems inequitable for other rate payers.”
Henderson said she was concerned about partial spaces at either end of car parking rows, which, she said, often go unused.
She wants to see those partial spaces allocated specifically for use by scooters or motorcycles, or for those spaces to be extended, to fit a full new car parking space.
“There’s inefficient use of on-street parking (in the city),” she said.
“There’s many areas where just by simply extending a carpark by half a metre or a metre would allow additional parking.”
“It doesn’t allow cycle parking or formalised motorcycle parking, and yet it doesn’t fit a full car.
“It’s just wasted parking space.”
InDaily has contacted Lord Mayoral candidate Michael Henningson for comment.
Council election voting closes at 5pm on November 7.
Photo: AFP Aumit Farooque.
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