many bicycles attached to fence along full length

Parking Overflow

Clear and sunny days might have freezing starts to them but despite being the middle of winter dry days still make for comfortable cycling. But where to park? Already seeing the bicycle parking of the city taken over with advertising cyclists some times get creative and find informal parking locations but even they have their limits.

bicycles locked to fences and stair handrails

Here at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre a large number of bicycles couldn’t find free space to secure themselves to and were locked up on the handrails of the steps. They were left with a polite note attached to them by the security staff:

note asking bicycle owner to park elsewhere

A fair and community minded request considering all users of the space, except that looking around this corner there are already bicycles filling all the available space out of the way.

many bicycles attached to fence along full length

Continuing along the building to the “appointed places” all the parking was over capacity.

overfull bicycle racks

Here including the new hire bikes left along the waterfront and throughout the rest of the city, which don’t require a station or locking to a post as they sit on their own kick stands and simply lock their rear wheel. Further along are more full bicycle rails:

bicycles attached to trees and bicycle racks

Along with more informal parking against signposts and trees.

Across the entire MCEC site facilities include the exhibition centre, a hotel, a shopping mall, bars and restaurants, and more development coming. They include for this a total of 3000 car parking spaces, and claim to have 165 bicycle parking spaces. Counting all the hoops provided across the entire site we found a total of 53, which at 2 bicycles per hoop makes a total of only 106 bicycle spaces and well short of their claimed total. Perhaps they intend to claim the informal spaces as part of their obligations detailed in their planning applications, or there are a number not advertised to the public and reserved for the use of staff.

But even if they do meet these numbers for the planning requirements, already they are out of touch with the reality of transport in the Melbourne CBD. Taking numbers from government 2012 documents discussing the future mix of transport modes, the plan is for decreasing car use in favour of walking, public transport, and cycling. Even with the historical figures from 2009 the mode share was:
Car 39%
Public Transport 36%
Walking 20%
Cycling 4%

It was already clear that bicycles are used with a 1:10 ratio with cars, but the exhibition centre has parking with a 1:29 ratio (106:3000). Planned future reductions in the mode share of cars isn’t matched with the provision of parking. The comedy to close is that checking the convention topic could have predicted the outcome, looking to the front entrance amongst more informal bicycle parking the banner for the event is clearly displayed:

convention centre entrance with banners, and more bikes

Ecocity world summit 2017 a conference boasting about its sustainable food service, and choice of venue for its environmental credentials. What sort of vehicles might people interested in those topics choose?


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