You may have wondered why Brisbane City Council dismantled the parking docks for the CityCycle scheme when it was phased out in 2021. Because allowing e-devices to be left pretty much anywhere has not worked, especially for people with disabilities, and now the Queensland Government is flagging designated parking for e-mobility devices. Its a little like Back to the Future.

The Government has announced an e-Mobility Parking Plan to improve the parking of e-scooters and other e-mobility devices, such as e-bikes, to ensure they are not left in a way which blocks paths and, creates safety and amenity issues for other path users.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said it was time to clean up our paths to create a more inclusive and accessible environment.

“E-scooters are a great way to get around, but too often I see them left in locations blocking paths which creates significant problems for people walking – especially those with limited mobility,” Mr Bailey said.

“I have had to move badly parked e-scooters out of the way on several occasions, which some people cannot do, like people who use wheelchairs and those with vision impairments.

“For them, it’s more than a minor inconvenience. It can mean adding significant time to a trip to detour around a misplaced e-scooter.

Minister Bailey is urging Queenslanders to keep footpaths and thoroughfares clear, “so every person can walk, ride and scoot freely.”

Minister Bailey said the e-Mobility Parking Plan had been developed by Transport and Main Roads in partnership with the e-mobility Parking Working Group, which includes representation from local councils and industry as well as disability and road users advocacy organisations.

“Under the Parking Plan, trials of parking infrastructure have already started, which you may spot the next time you’re at the local bus or trains station, and at key locations throughout the city,” he said.

“There will also be improved communication of expectations and further education opportunities, and we’ll investigate better reporting arrangements.”

The Parking Plan forms part of the Personal Mobility Safety Action Plan, released in June 2022 and follows a raft of new road rule changes which started on 1 November.

Initiatives within the plan include:

  • The expansion of designated e-mobility parking areas, like those popping up around the inner city
  • Supporting better reporting of poor parking, especially to e-scooter providers
  • Investigating regulation, including potential fines for those who improperly park a hire e-scooter
  • Improved communication and education

Brisbane City Council Civic Cabinet Chair for Transport Ryan Murphy said Council had already overseen significant improvements in parking of share scheme e-scooters and e-bikes.

“E-scooters and e-bikes are a great for quick trips and can reduce congestion on our roads, but we need to manage the clutter issue,” Cr Murphy said.

“While we have set strict rules and designated parking spots for where the operators place share scheme scooters, users also need to be aware of how and where to best park these scooters to avoid inconveniencing someone else.

“We welcome the Minister’s parking plan and think it’s a positive thing that the State Government wants to help improve e-scooter parking.”

Queenslanders with Disability Network CEO Michelle Moss welcomed the plan.

“Tackling the issue of e-scooter and e-bike parking will make a massive difference in the everyday lives of people with disabilities here in Brisbane, and right around the state,” Ms Moss said.

“Releasing the parking plan today is a great start, and we look forward to working with the Government and other stakeholders on implementing these initiatives.

“If you’re riding an e-scooter, please do the right thing and park it the right place. Your actions can quite literally change someone’s day and their safety.”

Minister Bailey said some localised e-mobility parking trials were already underway.

“Lessons learned from these trials will be critical to informing future standardisation of parking infrastructure. I encourage all local councils to continue to roll out dedicated e-mobility parking trials to help users understand where to park their devices,” he said.

“It’s great to see some work underway already, but more must be done. The release of the Parking Plan signals a clear intent to roll out dedicated parking spaces for e-scooters and e-bikes as a priority.”

Longer-term actions under the Parking Plan include investigating standardised reporting mechanisms for poor parking as well as investigating whether there is a role for stricter regulation and road rules.

“I look forward to working with local councils and shared e-mobility providers over the next couple of years as we collectively aim to improve e-scooter parking in Queensland,” Mr Bailey said.

Cover image supplied