Is Singapore ready to become a pro-cycling nation?
Plans to make Singapore's city centre car-lite announced by LTA, URA yesterday
Beautiful infrastructure does not spare you from ugly behaviour.
Experts said cyclists, pedestrians and motorists must behave responsibly and graciously if the plans, announced yesterday by the Land Transport Authority and Urban Redevelopment Authority, to make the city centre car-lite are to work well. (See report on right.)
MP Sitoh Yih Pin, chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport, told The New Paper: "The infrastructure put in place can only facilitate the different road users in their travels.
"It is extremely important that all road users exercise caution and always put safety for themselves and other road users as the top priority."
Safe Cycling Task Force president Steven Limhas received many complaints about cyclists hogging the Changi East on-road cycling lanes, opened in April, making it hard for faster cyclists to overtake them.
"This is an example that shows even cyclists, who have been asking for dedicated cycling infrastructure, need to be more responsible and better behaved on the road.
"If motorists or cyclists have the mindset to look out for others on the roads, we don't need all these infrastructure in the first place," he said.
Founder of Singapore Bike School, the only cycling instruction school here, Mr Kenneth Wee, said education is important and suggested schools teach cycling.
"It could be one of the core sports offered, and from there, teach road safety and other aspects of cycling.
"We could also have more initiatives and educational courses reaching out to the foreign workers, many of whom get around by bike, at their dormitories," he said.
Mr Gopinath Menon, transport consultant and senior research fellow at the Nanyang Technological University, agreed that providing cycling infrastructure needs to be in tandem with educating Singaporeans onriding practices.
He said although the LTA has put up a code of conduct on its website, there are still many cases of bad behaviour.
For example, two weeks ago, a 13-month-old toddler broke her right leg when a cyclist rode into her grandmother, who was carrying her, outside a Pasir Ris condominium.
Avid cyclist of five years Peter Sng, 65, a retiree, said cyclists must start to build a culture of graciousness, "but we have a long way to go".
The LTA will be calling a tender in the coming months for firms to design and construct the proposed central area cycling network, which does not have a targeted completion date yet.
Making more connections
The car-lite plan includes:
- Connecting a revitalised Bencoolen Street, which has been spruced up with a cycling path and more than 125 bicycle parking lots, to existing and future cycling routes all over Singapore.
- This includes Queenstown, Bishan and the North-South corridor in the north and the central area cycling network in the city, which will in turn be linked to the Marina Bay area and the eastern part of Singapore via East Coast Park.
- Works to transform Coleman Street, Armenian Street and Waterloo Street to make walking and cycling there more enjoyable by 2020.