Should motorcycles be allowed in bicycle lanes?

Should motorcycles and scooters be allowed in bicycle lanes for short intervals at a limited speed to free up inner-city commuter traffic?

It’s not such an unusual proposal.

Motorcycles and scooters have their own lanes in several countries and even VicRoads considered it for inclusion in the lane filtering rules after it was recommended in a 2014 online cycling survey.

Unfortunately, the proposal was rejected, but now many be the time to reconsider.

As pandemic restrictions ease, many people believe public transport is a health risk.

This could turn the commute from lockdown to gridlock as train and bus commuters return to their cars!

So the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries is calling for more people to ride to work while the cycling lobby is asking for $300m to be spent on more bike lanes.

Maybe we should put the two proposals together and allow motorcycles and scooters to share bicycle lanes!

The Australian Motorcycle Council points out that bicycle lanes rob traffic lanes of space which makes lane filtering more difficult.

Bicycle lanes trial

Rodney Brown Rider's call for ute tarps rejected bike lanesRodney Brown wants motorcycles and scooters t be allowed to use bicycle lanes

Long-term motorcycle advocate Rodney Brown made an application in 2015 for motorcycles and scooters to use bicycle lanes.

He is now calling for the issue to be reconsidered.

Rod does not believe motorcycles and scooters should travel in bicycle lanes for the whole of their journey.

He suggests a six-month trial where motorcyclists and scooter riders are allowed to use them only for short parts of the journey where traffic is congested, not just at intersections where they can access bike lanes now.

Bike lanes

“This would have a number of benefits, including easing of traffic congestion, improving rider safety through reduced motorcycle and scooter crashes, better use of road space and an environmental win as a result of reduced emissions,” he says.

His initial proposal was backed by several rider advocacy groups, including the popular motorcycle riders’ rights group, Freedom Riders Australia, who would like the plan introduced nationwide.


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