Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Straits Time on Cycling in SG

Today in Straits Time                                                    Photo by Francis Chu
By Tham Yuen-c
GEYLANG Road, Lentor Avenue, Keppel Road towards VivoCity, Balestier Road, Upper Jurong Road.

Cyclists beware.

These are among Singapore's most hazardous roads for cycling, according to a map created by cycling enthusiasts to warn others where they must be extra careful.

In the first eight months of this year, at least 12 cyclists have died. Since 2009, about 16 cyclists have died on the roads each year. Hundreds more get injured in accidents.
The map explains why certain roads are marked hazardous.

Geylang Road, for example, has busy traffic both day and night. Cyclists sometimes ride against traffic, and drivers can cut in and out from side streets.

"We are not asking people to avoid these places because sometimes you have no choice, but we just want to make sure that people ride on the road with their eyes open, and they know what to expect," said Mr Woon Tai Woon, 38, founder of LoveCyclingSG.

Following Mr Khoo's death, 21 cyclists have written open letters to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew, exhorting the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to consider measures such as dedicated bicycle lanes and more public education about road rules to cut down the number of fatalities.

Cycling groups say they have already been working with the authorities to try and make the roads safer for the growing number of cyclists in Singapore.

On July 2, some members of LoveCyclingSG met the LTA to appeal for greater rights and protection on the road - including calling for stiffer laws against irresponsible drivers who endanger cyclists, Mr Woon said. "There are drivers who feel that cyclists should not be on the road," said the product designer. "There should be stiffer punishment for such people."

Other suggestions include changes to road design, such as making lanes narrower so that cars are forced to go slower, and making space on public roads for dedicated bicycle lanes.
Mr Steven Choy, 47, a friend of Mr Khoo's, said that bicycle lanes need only be about 1.5m wide to keep drivers and cyclists out of each other's paths. it was time that dedicated lanes be assigned to this growing group.
"These park connectors are used by senior citizens, people out on walks, walking their dogs, it is not safe for them because we are riding at a fast speed," said Ms Joyce Leong, 56, founder of Joyriders, one of the largest local bicycle groups with 1,300 members.

To make roads safer for cyclists, the LTA has put up signs at popular cycling routes warning motorists to be careful. Mr Steven Lim, 45, president of the Safe Cycling Task Force that works with government agencies to promote cycling safety, said "After a while, some of them become like advertisements and are not very conspicuous," he said. "We are trying to see if it will be feasible to put the messages on the road instead."

"Motorists have to start getting used to the idea of sharing the roads with cyclists, but cyclists also have to help themselves and follow the rules,"


1 comment:

  1. It was commented that the 1.5m bike lane will give us a false sense of security. When LTA drew red dotted lines for all day bus lanes, did motorists obeyed it or ignored it? Food for thought!