Melbourne cyclists are growing in number, but the facilities to accommodate them have not kept pace. As reported in the The Age last month, the City of Melbourne has estimated that cyclists currently make up 15% of morning peak commuter traffic, a significant increase since 2006, when estimated at only 4%.
Bicycle Network Victoria spokesperson, Garry Brennan, says that a shortage of cycling facilities in the city is a common complaint. Under the Melbourne Planning Scheme currently in place, developers are required to provide only one employee bike parking space for every 300 square metres. Unfortunately, these requirements have not been updated since 2006, when far fewer people cycled into work.
Although change may seem slow, there are some building owners jumping on board, installing bike racks and change rooms. These End-of-Trip Facilities (see our 2013 newsletter article), are becoming increasingly popular additions to car parks in both Sydney and Melbourne.
Garry Brennan suggests that ”The tenants and developers of new projects realise that they are much more saleable and rentable if they have plenty of bike parking and good after-trip facilities like showers”.
The Age reported that The Property Council of Australia prefers to let market forces determine the number of bike parking spaces in buildings. However, Victorian deputy executive director Asher Judah conceded, ”In high-density areas like inner Melbourne, the signals are very hard to resist.”