Tackling oBike clutter
MORE than 50 oBikes have been fished out of the Yarra River since their introduction to Melbourne last year.
And every day, hundreds are left dumped on footpaths, in parks, or by roadways in the city’s central and inner-urban areas.
An arm wrestle between councils and the Andrews government over responsibility for ensuring that the bike-share company lifts its game, and better controls what happens to its bikes, has lasted for months, even as another three operators of “dockless” bike share schemes eye an entry to the local market.
In January, state government minister Martin Foley called on councils to begin fining oBike management for illegal dumping, requiring the revocation of agreements struck with three innercity councils — Melbourne, Port Phillip and Yarra — which had ostensibly given the operator some immunity from prosecution.
Returning serve, councils are now pressing the government to more tightly regulate oBike-style schemes.
The City of Port Phillip’s Cr Dick Gross will call for an amendment to the Road Safety Act to control how bikes are stored and to impose fines for noncompliance.
He said the agreement signed last year in which the three councils had required oBike to ensure its bikes did not obstruct footpaths, were clear of traffic, and parked upright, was a Band-Aid measure.
But Melburnians should also question the character of those of us who are willing to discard or trash the bikes. The vandals and the dumpers must be pursued.
If the problem persists, docks may be the only answer.