One small but important issue that deters people from cycling is the lack of bike parking.
For example, cyclist Jun Kit commented on the Rapid KL Facebook page:
“There are no security rails to chain bicycles at most LRT stations (especially in Subang). I see bikes chained to emergency fire pipes or water pipes. This should NOT be the way. PLEASE think of a way to incorporate bicycle parking facilities into your stations as soon as possible.”
Rapid KL replied: “We have shared your concern with our team for further action. We appreciate your patience and understanding on this matter.”
When testing out the new LRT line extension recently, I got off at the Puchong Jaya station and cycled to the nearby IOI Mall. A security guard then asked me to go to the motorbike parking area.
But the authorities and private building managements need to understand that a bicycle is NOT a motorcycle. Bicycles are LIGHT and can easily be carried away.
That is why cyclists need to secure their dear metal beasts (some can cost several thousand ringgit) onto metal racks at proper bicycle parking areas. These places should be well-lit and visible to people or security guards, not some grotty, dark, underground corner where thieves can steal bike parts or cut the locks.
Cyclist Hau Young commented that the Ampang LRT station sees many people riding their bicycles and parking there.
“There are special wave-like structure or racks to lock bikes at the station,” he said.
Without proper bike parking areas, cyclists usually have to find a fence, lamp post or railing somewhere to lock their bikes onto.
Some shopping malls do not welcome cyclists. Joseph Tan recalls how one posh mall (which claims to be eco-friendly) in the Bukit Bintang area of KL chased him and his cyclist friends away.
“They didn’t allow us to stop at their driveway. One of our bikes had a puncture and we went to a rear lane. There they shooed us away, too.”
However, other malls such as 1 Utama in Petaling Jaya are supportive of cyclists, and they even have special racks (in full view of security guards) to park bicycles.
Foldies can go on board
Good news for cyclists! They will be able to bring their folded bikes on board the LRT after all.
The articles on cycling to LRT stations made an impression on Prasarana, the operator of the LRT system.
“Thanks very much for the great stories in support of greater mobility via LRT and foldies,” said Lim Jin Aun, Head of Group Communications and Strategic Marketing, Prasarana.
Would they consider allowing foldies on board the LRT since they are no bigger than luggage bags?
“It is quite challenging to bring foldies on board during peak hours as our trains are pretty packed then,” explained Lim, who added that the Rapid KL guidelines on foldable bikes were adapted from the Taipei Metro system.
“If they were to carry foldies (onto the LRT) during peak hours, it has to be kept in a proper compartment just as if you were carrying luggage.”
In other words, foldies have to be bagged if used in the LRT during peak hours. Lim added that the foldies should not be bigger than those with 20-inch wheels.
For off-peak times, cyclists can carry their foldies bare (uncovered, but folded) onto the train.