Cycling on footpaths: why only legal in Tampines?

By March next year it’d be legal to cycle on footpaths in Tampines. Cyclists would be fined between $50 to $1000 for dangerous cycling.

This begs the question Why legal only in Tampines and not elsewhere in Singapore? Why the discrimination? Are Tampines cyclists a breed apart from their counterparts elsewhere, say, in Ang Mo Kio or Yishun?

To my mind this discrimination is preposterous. Having one law for cyclists in Tampines and another elsewhere is patently absurd.

Being a recreational cyclist myself, I don’t relish the idea of being tagged as an illegal cyclist, an offender, for cycling on footpaths. Fortunately I can take comfort in the fact that there are thousands of other offenders. What are the authorities going to do? Throw everyone into jail? I might just share a cell with an 80-year-old grandad you know.

Having said that, I’d like to urge fellow cyclists to ride carefully and be considerate to pedestrians. Let’s share the footpaths but a bicycle is capable of causing serious injuries so cyclists need to:

1. slow down when approaching pedestrians, especially when there are children and elderly people
2. go dead slow when approaching pregnant women
3. dismount or slow down at bus stops
4. keep to one side of the footpath
5. use front blinkers to alert pedestrians at night
6. say Thank You to pedestrians who give you way

Maybe you could add to the list?

I hope the authorities will extend the privilege of legally cycling on footpaths to the rest of Singapore.


7 Responses to “Cycling on footpaths: why only legal in Tampines?”

  1. Hi Roger Poh,

    I am a producer from the programme BlogTV on Channel NewsAsia. BlogTV is a weekly discussion show which airs Live every Thursday 9:15pm on 9:30pm on CNA, and it’s hosted by Class95 DJ Flying Dutchman and TODAY Editor Phin Wong.

    This week, we will be doing an episode on bad behaviour on the roads titled “Driving Me Crazy”. We hope that this episode would create more awareness and remind the public that irresponsible behaviour on roads have serious consequences.

    I read your blog post regarding motoring with much interest and would like to invite you to write a blog post exclusively for our website on the topic of irresponsible road users and bad behaviour on our roads. Please feel free to write your own views and suggestions on the issue. Please add a picture of yourself for us to use as a thumbnail, and a short synopsis to introduce yourself at the end of your blog post. I will also put a link to your blog on BlogTV’s website as well. You can email me your blog post tomorrow Tuesday, 15 December.

    I hope that you are keen to write this post for us. Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to receiving your post.

    Nawwar Syahirah (Ms)
    Producer, BlogTV
    Channel NewsAsia

  2. I won’t argue too much about discrimination although being “forced” to act illegally (cycling on footpaths) is not a good feeling. I think it has to do with the difference in town and footpaths design, although having a sporty MP there may be a reason too.

    I stayed in Toa Payoh. It is one of the early town where drainage were uncover last time. Now that the drains are covered up, most footpaths here are quite accommodating for both cyclists and pedestrians. Tampines and Pasir Ris somehow were designed and built with very wide footpaths form the beginning. Thus, I support the idea of making it legal, or at least not illegal to ride on footpaths because I felt these rules were set in the pre-era (1955) of modern Singapore where footpaths are really not meant for cycling (e.g. those in Chinatown, Little India areas).

    On the other hand, a recent walk on footpaths in Woodlands (near Admiralty MRT), I understand the furious of many who complain about cycling on footpaths. There, the footpaths are a bit squeezy for two adults walking abreast and at many places allowing only one due to some structures along the footpaths (e.g. trees).

  3. The authorities should widen narrow footpaths. It’s feasible. The deaths of two cylists in the last two weeks reinforce the perception that our roads are extremely dangerous for cyclists. How many more have to die before they find the energy to act? All we get is reminders on safe riding!

  4. why is there so much restriction in Singapore? this cannot that cannot… if you do this you get fine, you do that you get fine too… even now cycling also have so much restriction…

    Just watched the news that some kid got stopped and warned by the authorities for cycling while his friend was standing on the rear axle peg of the bicycle and some cyclists was stopped after cycling across pedestrian crossing(green man)…
    com’on…!!! what’s wrong with that? they are not causing any danger to pedestrian on the footpath too… so long they can handle their bike well and follow the traffic rules, i don’t see a reason why the authorities have to stopped them and gave them a warning.

    Who knows maybe in future even cycling in Singapore required cycling license, number plate, speed limit on footpath… 😦

    • I understand your frustration. Being a tiny place Singapore is easy to control. It’s absurd to go after kids. Where do they expect us to cycle. On the roads? Unless you’re tired of life. Why don’t the ministers cycle on the roads then tell us if it’s safe. Anyway don’t they have better things to do? Like cracking down on reckless drivers, drink-driving, robbers etc rather than cracking the whip at ordinary law-abiding citizens. Why is it legal for Tampines residents to cycle on pathways but illegal for cyclists elsewhere? It’s not fair, isn’t it?

  5. Maybe they are just piloting it in Tampines first.

    • Pilot project in Tampines before extending it to other estates? Probably. It took them 2 years to come to a decision.

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