Cycling in Singapore: cheers to more off-road cycling routes
The one positive news for me at midweek is that by 2030, 700 km of off-road cycling routes will have been completed. To put this into perspective, this is about the distance from Singapore to Ipoh. 190 km of that will be completed by 2020.
Cyclists will certainly cheer at this good news particularly those who bike to work.
Being small and compact, Singapore is ideally suited to cultivating a culture of commuting to work on a bicycle as in Denmark. Every person who rides a bike to work helps to relieve the strain on our public transport.
To encourage more to take to two wheels, the infrastructure needs to be improved:
1. Bus stops can be an obstacle. Cycling paths should bypass bus stops to avoid collisions with pedestrians.
2. Kiosks selling snacks and drinks, bicycle spare parts and tools can be set up along some PCN routes as in Taiwan.
3. In the city, it’s not feasible to cycle on pavements. The solution as I see it is to provide a bike lane. Penang is very congested but I was surprised to see bike lanes in the heart of the city.
4. Link all housing estates via the PCN. For example, AMK Ave 10 lacks a cycling path to Bishan Park from where you can bike to the city.
5. Road curbs at junctions should be bicycle-friendly.
I know there are practical difficulties for some in riding to work. However, it is not only good exercise but saves you money on transport fares as well.
Besides, if you factor in the time spent in taking the feeder bus to the MRT station, waiting time and so on you can be much faster or not that much slower if you bike to work.
For instance, riding mainly on the road from Yio Chu Kang-AMK Ave 5 junction to Little India, I normally take about 35 to 40 minutes on a foldable bike. No crush on the bus or MRT or BO from other commuters!
The downside is our tropical weather and being drenched in sweat which might not be exactly appealing to your colleagues.
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