Tag Archives: Parking

Winter Motorbike Maintenance – The How-To Guide

(Contributed Post for our Northern hemisphere readers)

There is no way to sugarcoat it – winter can be very tough on your motorbike. This does not mean, however, that you can’t get it out for a ride every once in a while. That, of course, with the right maintenance, to make sure your bike can stand any challenge that winter may throw its way.

Depending on how though winter gets in your area, you can either park your bike away and protect it from the cold, or if you want to still enjoy a good ride from time to time, ensure you are keeping your bike in prime condition.

No matter if you decide to keep using your bike for the winter, or store it away until Spring is approaching, this article is meant to help you take proper care of your ride, to ensure winter will come and go in a breeze. 

Consider storing it away

Many bikers decide to store their bike away during winter, either because the roads become sort of dangerous when they get all snowy and frozen, or because they don’t want the shine to wear off. If you chose to park your bike away until the weather gets brighter, do keep in mind that there are some things you need to take care of before.

First of all, you need a good place to store it. You definitely don’t want kids or someone else in the family knocking it over or turning it into a storage shelve. If you have a big garage, then you can safely store it away there and put some protective sheets over it, or even build a cover. If you don’t have a garage, you need to find a good parking spot. A good option would be to rent a spot in covered parking. Just like this San Francisco monthly parking service, you can find such options in almost every city.

Once you decided on a place, you need to prepare your ride for the long hiatus. Make sure you plug and cover your pipes, to protect them from corrosion during winter. By spraying a little light oil into the pipe ends and covering them with some plastic bags, you should be able to keep moisture from getting in and give yourself some peace of mind.

If you, do however, decide you want to keep using your motorbike during the winter season, here’s what you need to do:

Check battery health

When the temperature starts to drop, there will be even more strain put on your battery life. Cold starts, lights turned on more often, bar warmers, they all drain your battery life more than they did before. Make sure to periodically check the power, to avoid unfortunate situations, such as being left with 0 life in your battery in the middle of nowhere.

A healthy battery such be above 12.6 v, but cold temperatures can make it drop significantly lower. Especially before a long ride, make sure to charge your battery and check the voltage periodically, to ensure you can enjoy a risk-free ride. Also, if you find your battery draining way too fast, you may want to consider replacing it before you take the bike for another ride.

Check tires before every ride

Tires tend to lose pressure from time to time, especially during the winter, when the air inside gets cold. If you didn’t already, you should get into the habit of checking your tires before every ride, to ensure there is no damage from previous rides, as well as to verify that the pressure is optimal.

Also, you need to make sure you change your tires with winter-ready ones when roads start to get icy so that you don’t encounter grip problems. On snowy or icy roads, summer tires may be too slippery or prevent you from breaking on time. Changing your tires will ensure you don’t run the chance of accidents.

Use a good antifreeze

Liquid-cooled machines need water in their radiator to keep it cool, but we all know what happens with water in cold temperatures – it freezes. This is why you also need to add anti-freeze to the cooling system, to ensure the radiator does not overheat, but to also avoid frozen water in your pipes.

Ideally, you need to use antifreeze or coolant that has a low freezing point, usually down to -68 °F, so you don’t risk it freezing if the motorbike is parked outside. Also, make sure to check the antifreeze level periodically, to ensure it does not go beyond the lower limit.

Don’t forget lubrication

During the winter, ice on the roads is usually melted with salt. The combination of water and salt can get to the chains and make them rusty. This is why you need to make sure you clean and lubricate the chains periodically, to prevent salt or dirt from accumulating and damaging them.

Other moving parts, such as the controls (brake, pedals, and throttle) can also get damaged from ice or salt, so make sure to lubricate them as well.

What’s more, you should also consider changing the engine oil, as it can get dirty over time, which again, creates the perfect environment for corrosion.

Protect from corrosion

Over time, but especially during winter, the metal on your bike tends to accumulate moist. The problem with moist is that it creates the perfect environment for corrosion to damage your motorbike when you least expect it. Washing, drying and waxing your bike periodically will protect it from damage and ensure it keeps its shine even in freezing temperatures.

You can also apply anti-rust spray to the areas you consider vulnerable, to protect them. For better protection, make sure you apply it regularly, after cleaning your bike, so you don’t seal in the dirt.

Also, keep in mind that corrosion can happen if your bike is stored away as well, you remember to take it out for a cleaning session from time to time.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Parking victory for Sydney riders

A decision to charge riders for parking in some Sydney CBD areas has been reversed and riders who copped $82 parking fines have had them waived.

In October we reported on two such riders who were caught out when the jurisdiction of the parking area changed from City of Sydney council (COS) to state government.

Previously the riders were able to park free in the Rocks, Pyrmont and Darling Harbour areas including outside designated bike-only zones as long as they adhered to the time restrictions.

However, the state reclaimed the land in January, according to the council, and installed private company parking meters at the end of August 2019.

The COS website was only changed on 17 September 2019 after several motorcyclists complained, according to Property NSW.

“Disputed infringements issued before the website was updated have been waived,” they say.

After our publication of the unfair fines, they have reversed that decision.

A Department of Planning, Industry and Environment spokesperson told us:

We were recently made aware of inconsistencies between the government and the City of Sydney’s parking policies. We have now revised our parking guidelines and waived infringement notices relating to this discrepancy. Motorcycle and scooter riders no longer need to pay at any of the parking meters in our areas, however, must respect the time restrictions. Our policy is published on The Rocks website.

Day in court

Riders claim parking fines unfair
Jin and his yamaha custom

However, Jin Weng says it is no victory for him after taking a day off work without pay to fight the fine in court.

I pleaded guilty because pleading not guilty requires another hearing date and I can’t afford to take another day off work,” he says.

“Legal aid said it’s unlikely I can claim for my time even if I get a not guilty outcome, this is a shame as the courts should penalise councils and authorities for issuing fines in error otherwise there is no accountability for them to continually do this.

“It is unjust but I can see why most people just pay the fine as its multiple times the cost to challenge.

“I presented my supporting documents to the court and the judge decided on a section 10 1 (A) ruling meaning I am guilty but there is no conviction, or penalty. 

“I wouldn’t call it a victory given that I had to plea guilty to something that shouldn’t even been charged wasting half a day sitting in court.

They clearly did not want to waive my infringement by rejecting my appeal and proceeding with a court prosecution. They even took the time to submit to the courts a prosecution including the judge reading a statement from the prosecutor that I was aware of changes in the area as mentioned in my appeal.

“Will they be reimbursing me for taking a day off to go to court?”

Website update 

Riders claim parking fines unfair Sydney
Andrew and his scooter

Another fined Sydney rider, Andrew Johnstone, missed the change on the website and said the fines were unfair as there was not enough notice provided that the change had occurred.

He says the website has now been changed, but it “seems to say no and maybe”.

Click here for details. 

“Motorcyclists cannot be expected to read the website every day before parking a bike to ensure a road ownership hasn’t changed,” he said.

Andrew is still waiting for his fine to be waived.

Loss of Sydney spaces

The change in Sydney motorcycle parking follows the reduction of CBD kerbside parking last year to accommodate bus, pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure.

It prompted a petition for more motorcycle parking space.

Sydney motorcycle parking petition Emma MacIver
Emma launches petition

Petition organiser and commuter rider Emma MacIver says the city is lagging behind Melbourne and the rest of the world and Motorcycle Council of NSW parking subcommittee claimed council’s lack of consultation with riders on the issue was “disappointing”.

Emma’s petition has gained almost 2000 signatures.

Click here to sign her petition and make council pay attention!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Fight goes on despite disabled parking permit win

A Canberra rider who had his $600 disabled parking fine waived has also now received a second permit so he can have one in his car and one permanently on his motorcycle.

Alan Francis (pictured above) says a more compact motorcycle-specific permit would be handy, but he is happy with the verdict.

Victorian Motorcycle Experts Advisory Panel independent rider representative Dean Marks welcomes the decision, but says the campaign for more suitable motorcycle permits continues.

He says this is an issue for disabled riders right around Australia who are being “heavily fined and penalised”.

Disabled parking fine

Alan's new motorcycle parking permit
Alan’s new motorcycle parking permit

In March this year, Alan, 68, was issued with a $600 ticket for parking his bike in a disabled spot despite displaying a disabled parking permit.

It is believed the inspector told a witness that handicapped stickers are for those who can’t walk any distance and if the owner could ride a Harley he was a “fraud”.

Alan has a compressed spine and has difficulty walking, but not riding.

He had photocopied his disabled parking permit because it was too difficult to swap it between his car and his bike while guaranteeing the flimsy permit would not be stolen.

He did not know it was illegal to reproduce the permit and faced a further $228 fine.

Alan has now been issued with two disabled parking permits, but his is a special case and there is no provision for other disabled riders, nor for a smaller, motorcycle-specific permit.

He says he is grateful for his win and has now enclosed and firmly bolted the permit to his bike which he could not do before.

However, he says a smaller permit would be better.

Permit campaign

Dean Marks disabled permite parking
Dean Marks

Dean raised the matter of riders with disabilities being excluded from the parking provisions and traffic management programs in April. 

He says NSW seems to be leading the way by producing a suitable warrant for both motorcycles and cars.

“Riders around Australia are being disadvantaged as they are subject to penalties for parking in disabled parking spots even if they were legally permitted to as they had an issued permit for their car as no system existed to safely and securely attach same to a motorcycle,” he says.

He contacted the Victorian Roads Minister and VicRoads to ask for consideration in their extensive review of the disability parking system in Victoria to bring it in-line with Federal requirements.

However, he said it is evident that riders with disabilities are not taken into consideration in any way.

Dean Marks Riders invited to discuss mental health Shepherds Australia permit
Dean on another charity program to collect socks for the homeless

Victorian Roads Minister Jail Pulford has acknowledged the oversight and says she wrote to all local councils asking them to consider the needs of all motorcyclists in their traffic management plans.

Dean says the issue has become more pressing as councils such as Melbourne City begin removing rider parking from footpaths.

“Councils and local by-laws officers are acting inconsistently and making assumptions as to whether a rider could even have a disability and hence issuing infringements that placed these persons in stressful situations where they had to fight infringements that never should have been issued,” he says.

Dean says disabled riders risk their permit falling off or being stolen as it is difficult to fix properly to a motorbike.

“Should it be lost or stolen, the driver/rider then has a protracted process to have a new one re-issued and in the meantime would not have access to use disabled parking spots,” he says.

“I find it distressing that we are even having this conversation as it demonstrates that the needs of motorcyclists as a legitimate means of transport are not even in the minds of local councils, city planners and others responsible for making these decisions.

“It leaves me perplexed and wondering if anyone even asked question who holds a disabled parking permit and what are their needs.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Riders claim Sydney parking fines unfair

Sydney riders are claiming $82 parking fines they received are unfair as the jurisdiction of the area changed from City of Sydney council (COS) to state government without clear public notice.

Previously the riders were able to park free in the Rocks, Pyrmont and Darling Harbour areas including outside designated bike-only zones as long as they adhered to the time restrictions.

However, the state reclaimed the land in January, according to the council, and installed private company parking meters at the end of August 2019.

The COS website was only changed on 17 September 2019 after several motorcyclists complained, according to Property NSW.

“Disputed infringements issued before the website was updated have been waived,” they say.

Fines unfair, say riders

Riders claim parking fines unfair
Jin and his yamaha custom

However, riders Jin Weng and Andrew Johnstone missed the change on the website and say the fines are unfair as there was not enough notice provided that the change had occurred.

Property NSW say “signage informing motorists and riders of the change of operation was placed on the meters from the time of the transition, which was managed in collaboration with City of Sydney, and notices were distributed to residents”.

However, Jin claims the road signs are “exactly the same” and the website was updated nine months after the change of jurisdiction.

“Motorcyclists cannot be expected to read the website everyday before parking a bike to ensure a road ownership hasn’t changed,” he says.

Andrew says he was unfairly slapped with an $82 fine along with about eight others in the bike-only zone in the Rocks. 

Riders claim parking fines unfair
Andrew and his scooter

The zone ends at 6pm and then it is four-hour meter parking. 

“I got done at 7.23pm. Previously under Sydney Council Laws there was no meter fee payable. Now this has changed,” Andrew says.

“I never saw anything on the signs for parking. Maybe the signs were on the meters themselves which naturally we would never look at.

“But the website just states part of the Rocks and the link does not link to an exact map and it says to check signs. Signs are no different to any other signs across the city.”

Jin received a parking fine Cumberland St outside a City of Sydney recreation centre because new parking meters were installed by a private company on a road at the doorstep of the COS  recreation centre.

“Other areas within Sydney not under the COS jurisdiction have clear indication at the location that it is managed by a different authority such as areas in the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain.

“Sufficient notification should have been given when the changes occurred, the signs and parking meters at Cumberland St is exactly the same as anywhere else in the city of Sydney,” Jin says.

Loss of spaces

The loss of free motorcycle parking follows the reduction of CBD kerbside parking last year to accommodate bus, pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure.

It prompted a petition for more motorcycle parking space.

Sydney motorcycle parking petition Emma MacIver
Emma launches petition

Petition organiser and commuter rider Emma MacIver says the city is lagging behind Melbourne and the rest of the world and Motorcycle Council of NSW parking subcommittee claimed council’s lack of consultation with riders on the issue was “disappointing”.

Emma’s petition has gained almost 2000 signatures.

Click here to sign her petition and make council pay attention!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Fastest Way to Access JFK Airport via Motorbike

(Sponsored post about JFK Airport parking)

JFK international airport on Van Wyck Expressway in Southern Queens is massive with four runways over 5200 acres and a ring road connecting the airport terminals. A motorbike is the most convenient mode of transport to get you to the airport parking lot.

Imagine having a flight in the next one 30 minutes and the traffic to the airport is unbearable. What do you do? You can use your personal car or catch the bus to the airport. All these means can’t help you if you are running late. You need a fast means to get you there. We all dread missing flights especially if you are on official duties.

Over the years, the use of motorcycles has gained in popularity, not only for leisure but also as a practical means of transport with a wide range of user advantages.

Pros of using a motorcycleFastest Way to Access JFK Airport via Motorbike

  • Easy to park.

Motorcycles are easy to navigate around and park. If a family member needs to be dropped off at JFK airport, it is not difficult to find a parking space. Finding a slot for a car can be quite hectic during the peak seasons, but not a problem for bike owners. Bikes need less parking space and Parkos can sort you out with rates offered by the airport.

  • Motorcycles are easier to maintain.

Maintenance for motorcycles is cheaper than automobiles. Spare parts for motorbikes are also easily and readily available, making them very convenient to buy and maintain. You can even consider doing your own repairs.

  • Convenient mode of transport.

Traffic is a major problem during rush hours. It is thus a headache to access the airport, especially if you’re running late to catch a flight. Motorbikes are convenient to use because they don’t get caught up in traffic. You can easily make your way through the traffic and get to JFK airport parking space in time. Just the right time to catch your flight to your desired destination.

  • Omits less carbon into the environment.

With the increase in global warming, people are promoting transport with less carbon emissions and resorting to motorcycles. This is because bikes contribute lower carbon emissions.

  • Great way to relax.

If you enjoy travelling, a motorcycle allows you to fulfil your desires. You can use your motorbike to get to the airport and access parking with ease. If you have time to kill before your flight, a motorbike will all.ow you to get around the huge airport which is impossible to tour by foot. The advantage of using a bike is that it is quite fast to move around.

There are also some great hotels in the airport where you can relax while you wait for your flight. Grab a meal or a drink before you fly out without having to worry about where to park your motorbike. You can easily park your bike using Parkos which is the leading site for airport parking space. 

Despite motorbikes having a range of advantages and enabling you arrive in time, they do have some cons: They can only carry one pillion and riders can be vulnerable to other traffic.

Yet motorbikes save a lot of time that could have been spent in traffic. Parkos offers riders who wish to access JKL airport parking space with information on their rates.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Hefty parking fine for motorcycle ‘overhang’

Riders could cop a hefty parking fine if their motorcycle is parked with its wheels inside a parking bay, but the body of the bike, handlebars or luggage leaning over the line as in the above photo.

A Sydney rider found out the hard way when he copped a $263 fine for parking his scooter on Philip St, in Sydney’s CBD.

Personal trainer Stephen Lewis’s red scooter’s wheels were inside a crowded motorcycle-only parking zone, but some of the scooter body, top box and handlebars were centimetres out of the designated zone.

Parking fine
Stephen’s red scooter

He believed “it was ok” if his scooter’s wheels were within the parking bay.

“Fortunately I took a photo as this happened to me a few weeks earlier in the same spot, where someone dragged my bike out and put theirs in its place,” he says.

“I now take photos as a precaution when parking. It’s close, but I thought this would be ok. The parking fine is for $263 as it is classed as being in a no-stopping zone.”

Parking rules

Parking within the lines presents a problem for motorcycles and scooters.

You can park your bike with its wheels inside the white lines, but the body can be over the line when leaned over on its sidestand. (Note that Stephen’s  scooter was on its centrestand.)

We could not find any specific motorcycle reference to this in NSW parking rules.

Lance was fined for parking his Harley between two car parking bays flexible
This rider was fined for parking his Harley between two car parking bays

The only reference in the NSW Transport parking guidelines is to parallel-parked vehicles that “should be entirely within any marking lines”.

Specific motorcycle parking guidelines only mention that the motorcycle should “not stick out further than any parallel parked vehicle”.

We asked NSW Transport to point out the specific reference to motorcycles leaning out of the parking bay.

This is their reply:

Under Rule 211 of the Road Rules 2014, a driver who parks on a length of road, or in an area, that has parking bays (whether or not a park in bays only sign applies to the length of road or area) must position the driver’s vehicle completely within a single parking bay, unless the vehicle is too wide or long to fit completely within the bay.

Determining whether a vehicle is ‘completely within’ a parking bay or is in breach of this rule is a matter for an authorised officer. If a penalty notice is issued for this offence by a police officer, the fine is $80.

The best option is for riders to ensure that all parts of their vehicle are within the parking bay.

In other words, there is NO specific reference to motorcycles.

We checked rules in other states and councils and could also find no reference to motorcycles leaning outside the designated area.

Also, some motorcycle parking bays are not long enough for big motorcycles as in the photo below.

Motorcycle and scooter riders urged to make a submission to the Brisbane City Council draft transport plan - parking BCC bicycles

Parking fine upheld

Stephen challenged the parking fine asking for leniency because of the marginal overhang, but the Commissioner of Fines Administration upheld the fine.

The Commissioner says he consulted the Caution/Review Guidelines, legislation and information provided by the issuing authority in reaching the verdict.

“The photograph provided indicates the vehicle was partially parked in the no-stopping zone at 6.54am,” the Commissioner wrote to Stephen.

“Based on this information, we are unable to cancel the penalty.

“No-stopping zones are often in areas where it is unsafe for vehicles to stop or park, such as where they may cause a hazard to other vehicles or pedestrians.

“It is important to keep these areas clear to ensure the safety of road users.”

Stephen says the fine seems punitive for such a marginal transgression.

“I am absolutely fuming as this looks like a revenue-generating con,” he says.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Payout refused on parking fall damage

Toowoomba riding trainer Tony Gallagher watched as his 2001 Kawasaki ZRX1200R sunk into thin bitumen and then fall over in a Crows Nest main street parking bay.

The incident caused about $1700 in damage to his bike that he uses in his business and ruined his $600 Shoei helmet.

To add insult to “injury”, Toowoomba Regional Council insurance officer Josie Hooper says council is not liable for compensation.Toowoomba riding trainer Tony Gallagher watched in horror as his Kawasaki ZRX1200R sunk into thin bitumen and tall over in a Crows Nest main street parking bay.

“Under Section 37 of the Civil Liability Act, a road authority such as Council cannot be held liable for claims that arise out of alleged lack of maintenance, repair, or inspection of a road if, at the time of the damage, the road authority was unaware of the defect which allegedly caused the damage,” she says in an official letter to Tony two months after his complaint.

The bike was parked in a car parking bay, not one of the 16 special motorcycle bands allocated when Crows Nest became a Queensland’s second motorcycle friendly town in 2017.

Crows Nest Motorcycle Friendly Town spokesman Ron Anderson says he is not aware of any other motorcycles falling over in parking bays in town.

Fall from grace

Toowoomba riding trainer Tony Gallagher watched in horror as his Kawasaki ZRX1200R sunk into thin bitumen and tall over in a Crows Nest main street parking bay.
Tony and his 2001 Kwaka

“The bike was parked for at least 10 minutes, maybe 15, before falling over. I saw it fall over,” Tony says.

“The bitumen beneath the sidestand failed and the stand sunk into the ground several inches.”

Tony contacted council who patched the hole before he left town on the day.

Toowoomba riding trainer Tony Gallagher watched in horror as his Kawasaki ZRX1200R sunk into thin bitumen and tall over in a Crows Nest main street parking bay.
Patch repair

“The staff member who did the repair apologised to me,” Tony says.

“I would argue that they could have reasonably known that there was a fault with the road surface as there have been issues with the adjoining footpath and kerbing.

“As TRC are fully aware of these issues, the quality of the road surface where vehicles park should have been investigated and rectified prior to this incident. As such TRC have breached their duty of care.

“I went back the following Monday on my GPZ and noticed parks further up the hill are decaying — not obvious in the park I was in.Toowoomba riding trainer Tony Gallagher watched in horror as his Kawasaki ZRX1200R sunk into thin bitumen and tall over in a Crows Nest main street parking bay.

“Hardly a ‘Motorcycle Friendly Town’ if you can’t park your bike safely.”

Tony says the bitumen was about 10mm thick with mud underneath and suspects an underground water problem.

He returned to the site this week and says there is moisture coming from the patched repair.

The incident occurred on a mild April day, so there was no problem with melting tar.

Tony says he has witnesses who can prove his bike did not roll off the stand and was parked facing uphill.

No liability

Legal precedence shows that council is cannot be held liable if they did not know about the damage.

In her letter to Tony, Josie says their investigations found that council was unaware of “the specific characteristic of the road and/or car park you say caused the damage to the motorcycle”.

TRC says riders can report road damage to Customer Service on 131 872. Customer Service will create a ticket in the system to have the incident investigated by the relevant team in Council.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Footpath parking ban a ‘conspiracy theory’

Claims that the Melbourne Council Draft Transport Plan will reduce motorcycle parking in the city is a conspiracy theory, says transport spokesman Cr Frances Gilley (above).

However, he does admit they will restrict some footpath parking in the short term with a long-term option of removing all motorcycles from CBD footpaths.

In the meantime, he says they will reduce street car parking and convert it to motorcycle spaces.

“Motorcyclists won’t lose any spaces,” says the councillor who used to commute on a scooter and park on the footpath outside council chambers.

Conspiracy theory

I get the conspiracy theory that if we create 10 spaces we lose a thousand.

“We will create more spaces on-road and if we need more we will provide them.

“But at some point we may find there is no need to park on pavement and we may do something. But that is not the current plan.”

Melbourne zones
Melbourne footpath parking

Footpath obstruction

He says motorcycles are a major obstruction to pedestrian traffic which represents 90% of the movement around the CBD.

“But there is nothing in the current Draft Transport Plan to say people can’t keep parking on the pavement. However, there will be some places where we will restrict it,” he says.

“The problem is that some motorcyclists keep ignoring disabled parking spots and park too close on the footpath which prevents people from getting out of their cars.

“We will clearly mark paces where people can’t park.”

Frances says riders of big motorcycles would find it easier to park in on-street parking spaces than to “go up on the pavement and have to weave around pedestrians”.

“When we create alternative on-street parking spaces we will see what it looks like,” he says.

“We think there will be a change in the number of motorbikes that use the pavement.”

Keen rider

Frances says he is a keen rider who had an old 250cc Vespa and a BMW K 100 in the UK in his 20s and is “not quite finished” customising his 25-year-old Honda Trans Alp.

Melbourne Council draft transport motorcycle parking conspiracy theory transport spokesman Cr Frances Gilley
Frances and his Trans Alp

“I rent in the inner city and for the past six years I’ve ridden a Vespa 250 to work and just recently swapped it for an electric bike to use the bike paths.”

He also owns a KTM 530 EXC dirt bike and his son and daughter have dirt bikes.

“We go weekend bush riding at our shack in Mansfield high country,” he says.

“There is 10km of dirt to get to my shack. It’s a nice ride up through the hills.”

Draft plan discussion

The Draft Transport Strategy 2030 was endorsed for public consultation by the Future Melbourne Committee on May 7 and is open for public comment until June 19.

Information sessions to discuss the draft with the community will be held at the Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale St, next Wednesday (29 May) from 6pm-8pm and on Saturday, June 1, 11am-1pm.

Click here to register to attend an information session.

Riders can also speak with the project team at one of the following pop-up sessions:

            Melbourne Town Hall Pop-up

            Melbourne Knowledge Week – Prototype Street Pop-up

            North Melbourne Station Pop-up

            Harbour Esplanade Pop-up

            Southern Cross Station Pop-up

Go to the Participate Melbourne page for more details.         

 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Disabled rider parking fine waived

Canberra rider Alan Francis has succeeded in having his $600 disabled parking fine waived, but will now campaign for disabled riders to get a more compact motorcycle-specific permit.

Alan, 68, has now permanently attached his permit to his 2015 Harley-Davidson Low Rider’s left pannier. But that leaves him without a permit for his car.

He says he will push for riders who also drive to be issued two permits – one for their car and the smaller specific permit for a motorcycle.

A Victorian motorcycle advocate says this is becoming an issue for disabled riders around Australia who are being “heavily fined and penalised”.

Parking fine

Alan was issued with a $600 ticket for parking his bike in a disabled spot despite displaying a disabled parking permit.

It is believed the inspector told a witness that handicapped stickers are for those who can’t walk any distance and if the owner could ride a Harley he was a “fraud”.

Alan has a compressed spine and has difficulty walking, but not riding.

He photocopied his disabled parking permit because it was too difficult to swap it between his car and his bike while guaranteeing the flimsy permit would not be stolen.

He did not know it was illegal to reproduce the permit and faced a further $228 fine.

Disabled rider Alan Francis claims parking discrimination
Alan’s disabled parking permit

However, the $600 fine has been waived and he does not appear to face any further penalties.

“I have received a letter from Access Canberra informing me of my breach with the sticker but as I was a genuine holder the matter has been waived,” he says.

“They have made it clear I am to destroy and never use a duplicate as this is an offence.

“However I do intend to push forward with the need for change to accommodate the holder for a motorcyclist.

“I wish to personally thank Motorbike Writer for your efforts on my behalf as I am sure that without it they would have proceeded.”

Disabled help

Baton ride plans to go national dean marks of Shepherds Australia Foundation disabled
Dean Marks

Dean Marks, an independent rider representative on Victoria’s Motorcycle Experts Advisory Panel, says he has been looking at disabled rider parking issues for some years. 

“There are many drivers in Australia that hold a legal disability as determined by a registered medical practitioner and are issued a disabled parking permit,” he says.

“Of great concern is that council bylaws officers are issuing infringement notices on motorcycles even when displaying an affixed permit based on their belief that a rider cannot have a qualifying disability.

“If they have a concern then they should report the permit and number to the issuing body.

“Of greater concern is that as it currently stands, provisions made specifically to address riders’ concerns and needs are almost non-existent.”

Dean says getting in and out of a car for a person with an ambulatory disability can be quite difficult and painful.

“With the current ratios that are required with respect to disabled parking spots per normal parking spots, more often than not, many disabled drivers are required to use a normal spot which is a great distance from their desired location,” he says.Disabled rider Alan Francis claims parking discrimination

Many disabled spots also do not allow drivers to fully open their car door to get out safely, he says.

“Because of this, many that can ride do when they can. Not only because it is a great renewed sense of freedom, but also because it is more comfortable and easier than trying to get in and out of their car.

“They can also get much closer to their destination which allows them to walk shorter distances.”

He says there need to be clear guidelines on disabled parking for motorcyclists.

“This is becoming an issue as disabled riders around Australia are starting to be heavily fined and penalised for using the parking spots allocated for their specific use,” he says. 

“The attitude of many is that if someone can ride then they are not disabled. 

“I wish to explore the issues and provisions and ensure that these riders are not excluded and or discriminated against in any way due to their disability and the fact their mode of transport is a motorised two-wheel vehicle.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Disabled rider claims parking discrimination

A disabled Canberra rider could face a $228 fine for copying his disabled parking permit and making his own holder to use on his Harley because no suitably secure system is available for motorcycles.

Alan Francis, 68, says the ACT Transportation Department only supplies a flimsy plastic sleeve with the permit which would not be secure on a motorcycle.

“That’s discrimination of disabled riders,” he says.

The situation came to light recently when Alan received a $600 ticket for parking his 2015 Harley-Davidson Low Rider in a Canberra Hospital disabled park while he visited a terminally ill friend.

He says an eyewitness told him the inspector said handicapped stickers are for those who can’t walk any distance and if the owner could ride a Harley he was a “fraud”.

Painful suffering

The former firefighter and New Zealand sidecar champion says he suffers from a compressed spine and dead nerves in his legs which makes walking any distance painful and difficult.

“My feet are basically useless, but the Low Rider has forward controls and I can lift my leg to change gears,” he says.

“If I don’t have sturdy boots on, I am susceptible to falling over.

“And when I go for a ride with my mates they usually stand by the gutter and offer a shoulder so  I can get on and off.

“But the moment I lift my feet of the ground I’m as good as the next guy on a motorcycle.”

Parking permits are supplied to people for a range of disabilities including those whose “physical condition is detrimentally affected by walking 100m”.

Friend and Motorcycle Riders Association of the ACT president Lorne Thurgar confirms that Alan has a genuine ACT Government issued handicap pass and walks with a walking stick.

“The ticket should be cancelled and Alan deserves an apology,” Lone says.

Disabled rider Alan Francis claims parking discriminationParking permits

The ACT disabled parking permit instructions say: “The Australian disability parking permit is correctly displayed if it is on the dashboard, or affixed to the windscreen, inside the vehicle or as close as practical to the front left side in a way that all permit details are clearly visible from outside the vehicle.”

The instructions make no allowances for motorcycles or for easily relocating a permit from the safety of a car’s interior to the vulnerability of a motorcycle.

So Alan photocopied the disabled permit, laminated it inside the supplied plastic holder and cable-tied it to his left saddlebag.

In 2016, a Canberra paraplegic driver was fined $228 for failing to display her ACT permit correctly.

“There is no holder to be able to do this with a motorcycle and they cannot provide one as I asked when I was given the permit,” Alan says.

“I have a car as well and carry my wheelchair in the car so I need my sticker in the car.

“For me to be legal on both vehicles and has been stated by them is that I have to remove the sticker from the car and firmly attach it to the bike in the yet-to-be-designed holder that meets their requirements.”

Alan says if the department can’t supply a secure holder for the permit, they should supply a second motorcycle-only permit for disabled riders.

“I  am now in the knowledge that my solution is illegal and I must be severely punished for it,” he says.

“Further to my situation is that I have received comment, but not from the department, that maybe I can’t be a pension-reliant person if I can afford a Harley.

“I don’t normally publicise this but the bike was a gift from my partner who has now passed away.”

Parking incidentDisabled rider Alan Francis claims parking discrimination

As for the parking ticket, Alan says that when he parked in the disabled spot closest to the hospital elevators, he waved over a young female traffic controller to explain his situation.

“I told her ‘just out of courtesy I’m showing you that I am handicapped and legitimate’,” he says.

“About 50 minutes after parking there, the traffic inspector employed by the hospital started ticketing my motorcycle.

“The young girl came running over to him close to tears to explain that I’m an ok bloke and genuinely disabled, but she couldn’t stop him putting a ticket on it.

“Quite frankly what the parking inspector said to her about me being a fraud was soul destroying.”

Onerous appeal process

Alan says it was also a huge inconvenience to have to walk a long distance to Access Canberra (sic) to lodge his appeal against the ticket.

“The girl at the office looked up the sticker and told me it was legal and legit, but I would have to wait to find out if the ticket was rescinded.

“I’m speaking on behalf of disabled people; it’s straight out discrimination against disability.

“He’s shagged me round good and proper.”

Meanwhile, Alan says that he has now laminated the original permit in its plastic holder and cable-tied to the left pannier as it was when he was fined.Disabled rider Alan Francis claims parking discrimination

“I have chosen not to use a handicapped park for the car as at least I have the wheelchair to get me the further distances,” he says.

“My permit is again cable tied to the saddlebag which is still open to coping a fine I guess if a particular parking attendant randomly decides I am a fraud.

“Had I been informed on the infringement notice that it was the permit and not the parking position that was the problem, this situation would have never transpired.

“I freely admit in hindsight that my solution was not appropriate and if I am to be fined it should be for this and not the parking position.”

ACT reply

We received this response from the ACT government’s media team:

Access Canberra does not publicly comment on individual parking issues through the media, in respect for the privacy of the individual.

However we can advise that we are looking to have this matter be resolved as soon as possible.

We can also advise that contact has been made with the individual and the reasons why the infringement was issued explained.

The individual should be hearing the outcome of the review in the near future.

Depending on the complexity of a review it may take a bit longer, however the majority are processed within six weeks.

We’d also like to provide a reminder to the community that Australian Disability Parking Permits (also known as Mobility Parking Permits) are valid for use by the person to whom they are issued and to no other.

Like with any form of identification such as a driver’s licence, an Australian Disability Parking Permit holder must display the actual permit issued by the Road Transport Authority on the motor vehicle used at the time for their transportation or for their parking requirements.

When it comes to motorbikes, it is important that the permits are securely displayed.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com