End dumping cycle
Councils ask for rules on share bikes
BICYCLE dumping is prompting local councils to push the Victorian government to regulate dockless bike share schemes such as oBike.
City of Port Phillip councillor Dick Gross said an agreement his city and two other councils signed last year with oBike, which was meant to ensure that its bikes did not obstruct footpaths, were clear of traffic, and were parked upright, had been at best “a Band-Aid solution which is not proving to be very effective”.
“Bikes are left in public spaces such as parks and footpaths with no thought to public safety,” he says in a motion to go before council tonight.
“This is particularly dangerous for people walking, particularly the mobilityimpaired,” he says.
Under the memorandum of understanding, any dangerously placed oBikes were to be relocated within two hours.
Cr Gross wants the Municipal Association of Victoria to lobby the government to bring in rules ensuring that dockless share bikes are safe and are not left in areas where they create a public hazard or nuisance.
“Councils do not have the power to regulate dockless bike share. However, the state government can create regulations under the Road Safety Act (such as controlling how bikes are stored and imposing fines for noncompliance),” Cr Gross said.
He said that by last October, the Port Phillip, Melbourne and Yarra city councils had received more than 400 complaints and inquiries relating to the oBikes.
Disability Minister Martin Foley said Labor had long advocated that oBike be held accountable “for the trail of yellow cycles cluttering our footpaths and public spaces”.
“We will continue to work with local councils to ensure they have the powers they need to manage the challenges of the dockless bike industry,” Mr Foley said.
The government has been supporting the MAV and councils to set up a Share Bike Advisory Group.
The Environment Protection Authority has also met oBike managers to outline concerns about dumped bikes and public complaints.
Under the Environment Protection Act, the EPA or an authorised council officer can issue a notice requiring oBike not to deposit litter contrary to the Act. Non-compliance with such a notice carries a penalty of up to $3171.40.
OBike’s rival dockless bike share companies Ofo, Moke and Reddy Go are in talks to begin operations in Melbourne later this year.
Driver Wayne Kirk gets ready to tow dumped bikes. Picture: TONY GOUGH