There is currently a problem with bike parking at the new Macquarie University train station. Despite clear state government transport and planning policy supporting bicycle parking and access to generate true options for intermodal transport, the current station does not deliver for cyclists. Please see my drafted letter below and let me know if you are happy with it. I hope to bring this issue to the attention of the Minister for Transport, Ryde Council and Rail Corp.
3 March 2009
To Whom It May Concern:
The Macquarie University Bike Club seeks clarification regarding the provision of bicycle parking at the new Macquarie University train station. From a sustainable transport perspective, it has been exciting to see the significant transformation of campus life that has been rejuvenated by the opening of the train line. However, the opportunity for a truly integrated transport interchange remains unclear particularly in relation to how the train station provides opportunities for integrated bike-rail transportation within the local area.
Bicycle parking facilities are currently located on Waterloo Road 50 metres east of the station entrance (see Photo 1). Close to the Macquarie Shopping Centre, there are 5 new bike rings and 4 bicycle lockers. The bike parking facilities are located in an area that is hidden from the view of station users (see Photo 2). Located adjacent to two walls, these bike parking facilities provide a high opportunity for bike theft due to their hidden location with significantly lower levels of passive surveillance. The lockers currently are unusable as there is no contact information on how to use them. These facilities are mostly for the benefit of short-term bike parking for persons going to the shopping centre. These facilities are inadequate for providing accessible and secure bike parking for inter-modal train station users. Strangely, the transport user map located at the train station identifies the western side of the station as the designated area for bicycle parking (see Photo 3), however no such bike parking spaces have been built at present. There are bicycles parked around light poles in this area indicating an unmet desire for bike parking (See Photo 3). The western entrance to of the train station is also are far more suitable space for inter-modal bike parking as it is a hive of activity (see Photos 3 & Photo 4). In keeping with NSW urban and transport design guidelines  , the western entrance to Macquarie University Station should be the ideal location for bicycle parking because it is the most visibly prominent and accessible. It is also area that attracts high levels of passive surveillance that is major deterrence of bike theft . The promotion of bicycle parking at this transport interchange would also be a key demonstration of the Macquarie University’s core focus on sustainability and a visible demonstration of the university’s commitment to promoting sustainability  amongst staff and students who live near campus as well as the broader population of residents who live in the Marsfield and North Ryde locality.
At present the provision of bicycle parking facilities on the eastern side of at the Macquarie University station are of a low capacity, poor quality and do not appear in keeping with transport and planning guidelines of the NSW State Government. Could you please inform the Macquarie University Bike Club if there are plans to upgrade the bicycle parking facilities, what are they, and when will they be installed?
Macquarie University Bike Club
 According to The NSW Ministry for Transport’s Guidelines for the Development of Public Transport Interchange Facilities (September 2008).:
“the most prominent location should be given to the most efficient and sustainable modes of travel. For example, pedestrians and cyclists should have the most direct access to the interchange, while commuter parking (park and ride), which, based on the cost of provision and the space it consumes, should be given the lowest priority allocation of space and location.
Generally, the preferred order of priority in interchange development is: pedestrian / bicycle; bus / ferry; taxi; kiss and ride (drop off and pick up); and park and ride (commuter parking).”
 According to the NSW Department of Planning’s Planning Guidelines for Walking and Cycling:
“Design principles for bicycle parking facilities are:
1. Open and attractive facilities in easily supervised places that feel safe and nonthreatening,
with good passive surveillance to deter acts of vandalism and theft
2. As close as possible to building entrances (preferably within 25m)
3. Relates to the travel requirements of the user, e.g. lockers for commuters and racks for short-term use.
Considerations at the design phase are opportunities for casual surveillance, clearance from walls and other obstacles and weather protection. Bicycle parking facilities should look like they are an integral part of the premises and users should feel welcomed and respected.”
. See: http://www.mq.edu.au/sustainability/ and http://www.mq.edu.au/university/sustainability.html