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footpath parking wrangle, Melb, Vic...

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by mattb, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. Was just out in Camberwell Junction, having a coffee. Ironically, my friend and I had parked our bikes just off Burke rd, in a side st, because the main footpath is a bit congested. When we came back, we were approached by a very curt man, who was parked and waiting, but did not have a typical parking inspector uniform, but something more befitting a park ranger, with Boroondara blah blah on it.

    He started lecturing me about not being allowed to park my bike the way I had. I had parked, as I always do, hard against the building wall, so as to maximise the room left on the footpath (of which there was plenty). Aside from believing in the importance of consideration of others, I work in academic disability support, and my job has made me quite conscious of always leaving sufficient wheelchair space and so forth. There was plenty of room. This guy was telling me I had to park against the edge of the footpath - something I won't do, as my bike becomes a sitting duck for a bad three-point-turner.

    I'm quite happy to keep the peace and comply with *polite* officials - they're just doing their job - but as I say, the guy was quite rude. The thing was, he then took out a camera and tried to photograph my bike's number plate. I stepped in front of it, he shifted, I stepped again, and then simply placed my glove over it and just stood there. He got into his car and huddled down (queer!). His car was faced with away from me, and I figured he was going to turn around and photograph the plate as I rode off, so rather than doing the usual u-turn onto the street and out of it onto the main road, I backed up the footpath and jumped into traffic in such a way so that he could not get a view of the plate.

    What an odd and belligerant fellow! I've seen the Vic Roads stuff on this, and I believe he (whatever he was) cannot enforce a particular way of parking on public footpaths, providing it is sensible unobstructive parking; but what I found aggressive was his attempt to get my rego, with no explanation when I asked what he was doing. Anybody else had this sort of experience in Camberwell?
  2. pffff, what a knob!

    For the record, I always park near the edge of the footpath, but with enough room for a parked car to open its passenger side doors.
  3. You were parked incorrectly.

    You are supposed to park a close to the curb as possible as vision impared folk use the building line as a guide.

    Go to the Pricktoads webfright and download the PDF that explains it all to you.

  4. Mattb it seems you have had an interesting day.

    I just wanted to say, you tell a great story... and this little snippet really bought a smile to my face...
    It gets funnier everytime I imagine it, bit like a cartoon or one of those old "no sound" movies.

    Thanks for the smile,

  5. yep can't park against a building
  6. He is quite correct in the parking method he said you are supposed to use.

    Ohwell... next time you'll know :)

    The attitude is something of a different issue however.
  7. why did you think every other bike in victoria parks next to the curb? :p
  8. Actually the guidelines are only advisory. However they do recommend that you park one motorcycle length out from the building line because visually impaired people use the building edge for navigation.

    You can park right on the kerb if there is a no-stopping sign, otherwise one wheel width back to allow for car doors opening.

    Even if you are next to the building line, providing you are not obstructing the footpath then it's only ill-mannered and not illegal.

    This guy's attitude seems to leave a lot to be desired, most parking inspectors/bylaws officers/whatever are generally polite in my experience. They get enough aggro in their day without trying to create more. :?
  9. mattb, last time I looked at the law on this, there is no specific law against parking against the building line, BUT... there is a set of guidelines offered by Vicroads that includes the advice that you should avoid parking on the building side of the footpath, for the benefit of vision impaired pedestrians.
    In effect, a parking inspector can ticket you any time he/she is of the opinion that you are obstructing the footpath, so it is probably advisable that you change to parking more towards the kerb (the same guidelines also suggest you should not be closer than a wheel diameter to a parked car, BTW, and never adjacent to a bus stop).
    I'd hazard a guess that your Boorondara ranger fella was going to try and pass on some photo evidence to a parking officer so that you could be ticketed for obstruction. (Just my opinion).
  10. Yup, sounds like Camberwell officials haven't changed. I once had to provide some curt response to a Camberwell Officer who suggested my mum should've "had her tubes tied after the first two accidents". I suggested he leave the property, then followed it up with several visits to the shire offices and local councillors. No idea what happened to him, but he never came near mum's place again! Long time ago now...long long time ago...

    Anyway, as soon as they get shirty, or if they ask for your name and address, ask them for their ID and Authority to Act. If requested, they must produce these documents, it is an offence to not do so. Once produced, they must inform you that it is an offence to fail to provide your name and address, etc etc etc (and it goes on from there!) Make sure you ask exactly what Act they are authorised under, write everything down, and if possible take photos or video. If they fail to produce anything, and they're still being bastards, threaten to call the cops. Then call the police. If it doesn't get this far, but you have got their name/authority, go straight to the council offices (not far from Camberwell Junction, and make a written complaint.

    There are no excuses for an Authorisaed Officer to act like a prick for this sort of thing.

    If you want the whole low-down on how to trip up Authorised Officers, visit one of the direct action Victorian green sites...also Lawyers for Forests have a good run down on rights etc. when it comes to this type of thing.



    PS Make sure (if there's a next time) to ask specifically to not have your photo taken. They should comply, if not, more evidence against them!

    PPS I'd never thought I'd be recommending a vist to Lawyers for Forests!
  11. I don't see any mention of near to the building or the kerb. I don't believe where you parked was illegal provided you did not hinder the footpath users passage. Whenever I go to my bike shop I park right next to the shop window.

    And if he wanted to take a pic, let him! He can't prove that he didn't move it there himself and clearly has no jurisdiction to book you himself or he would have done it.
  12. Camberwell Junction is the only place I have ever received a parking ticket. I fought that one and one.

    I would not park in any of the side streets around the junction itself as the footpaths are quite narrow. There is actually more room on Burke road, so I kinda wonder at your logic....
  13. This particular bit of footpath was quite wide - when I say "the junction", I refer to the whole shopping strip(s).

    Glad to hear that it is a guideline - I'll definitely fight it if they try to fine me, but I'll also comply in future (I'll do the right thing according to their specific guidelines, I hope they decide to the decent thing also). Good point about the needs of the vision impaired. Thanks Forester_Neil - good advice.

    He didn't fine me. I've since wondered if he was hunching over in his car because he was writing up a fine, having got my details beforehand, or having memorised them when he was pulling his camera out. Do they have to serve this on the spot (or advise that they are fining me), or can they just send it in the mail wit hno interaction other than said? Does anybody know if this is this the ticket inspector uniform for that suburb (white shirt with Boro... stitch), or was he really just some Texas Walker?
  14. not sure of their uniform but the camberwell (and malvern) parking inspectors are notoriously vigilant and rude. must have high quotas to fill! sorry i can't help but good luck.
  15. It's actually in the learners handbook.. :LOL: ohh well.. next time you will know..
  16. Bloody blind people making it hard for us to park! Next I wont be able to park in handicapped spaces, nor travel in the emergency lane when I need to use the crapper!

    FFS, how unfair is it that were supposed to know these things?!!!
  17. Never have a problem parking in Camberwell but then I follow the guidelines.