Yarra wheels turn for bikes

THE City of Yarra intends to tighten planning rules to make developers include bicycle parking in small residential blocks.

•••

Published March 20, 2007 by The Herald Sun
By Ben Butler 

THE City of Yarra intends to tighten planning rules to make developers include bicycle parking in small residential blocks.

AU — State planning rules require commercial and business properties to include bike parks for cyclists, but the inner-suburban council — once controlled by the Greens party — wants to extend coverage to developers of Yarra's many small high-density blocks.

"Yarra's proposals go further than the state's, covering domestic as well as business and commercial properties," said Cr Jackie Fristacky.

"This is in recognition that in Yarra there are as many bikes as cars.

"This has implications for planning, parking and road space allocations. Council is keen to ensure that the unique needs of Yarra's community in relation to bicycles are met."

Statewide rules introduced in 2004 require developers to provide parking for cyclists.

The rules apply to commercial and business uses, including licensed premises.

The neighbouring City of Melbourne said it would not follow Yarra's lead.

Melbourne City planning guidelines introduced in January last year require commercial buildings and residential buildings over four storeys to include bicycle facilities, including parking and showers.

Melbourne City Council's Council House 2 building, completed in 2006, has a six star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

Its underground carpark includes hanging bicycle racks.

Bicycle Victoria's bicycle parking solutions advocate Stefan Webb said that, while no figures were available, since 2004 the number of developments incorporating bicycle parking had increased.

"The chance was there that if we could get the planning provisions changed there might be a chance people would actually build them," Mr Webb said.

"It certainly puts it in people's minds when they're designing a building."

He said the planning rules worked in conjunction with the Green Star ratings all new buildings now carry.