In terms of convenience, flexibility and security motorcycles are more similar to bicycles than cars. Consequently, the behaviour and requirements of motorcyclists often follows the cycle parking model. Good practice dictates that motorcycle parking should be:
Motorcycle users will naturally look for parking opportunities close to their destination. A distance of 20 metres is desirable and facilities more than 50 metres from the destination will compete with unofficial opportunities nearer by. Riders will want to be able to see or stay close to their machine.
Marginal areas, especially those already utilised by riders, can be formalised using relatively low-cost measures to protect parked machines and avoid conflict with other road users.
Difficulties finding suitable formal parking tend to reduce the benefits of motorcycle use. Parking signage from main routes and within a site is essential. TAL 2/02 explains the provisions for making orders and for signage.
Physical security measures are highly attractive to riders (local or tourists) who need to park for more than a few minutes. This will allow a machine to be secured to something immoveable. At the very least, a rider would opt for and expect a location where the machine will receive maximum casual observation and therefore minimise the risk of theft.
Covered off-street parking is desirable in order to offer protection from the elements and damage from tree debris, sap and bird waste. Many motorcycles do not have large load spaces that can be secured so riders value secure places to stow cumbersome and expensive riding equipment (eg protective helmets and clothing). Riders have less opportunity to carry food or drink so provision of litter bins and vending machines is wise.
Safe to use
Personal safety considerations when parking include the surface on which the machine is manoeuvred, mounted and dismounted, as well as lighting, CCTV coverage and the level of passing pedestrian traffic.
Appropriate formal parking provision reduces the attraction of informal parking. The latter will lead to exploitation of inappropriate opportunities which may cause obstructions or hazards. Motorcycle parking within multi-storey car parks is best provided as a dedicated area within sight of attendants and ideally on the ground floor at the entrance/exit in order to avoid the ramps and circulation areas.