Friday, July 31, 2015

Personal mobility for all

Sharing a few photos I took a few years ago while I was in Taiwan, riding my bicycle. This is an image of my friend Nick "racing" with an ah Ma. At that moment, I simply thought it was just an cool and hilarious moment. 
Recently, in Singapore we are seeing some encouraging progress on active mobility. This was in the news yesterday.  Once again another survey. This was a Singapore National strategy being discussed for cycling way back in 2012. 
in the news

It feels it's taking forever.. however I do understand its a rather complex issue as it involves many parties. I really wish the rules or rather the forming on code of conduct can be accelerated. My biggest fear is given the popularity of cycling currently, the odds on a cycling related accidents would likely to increase if its a "status quo". 
Personal mobility devices mentioned in the news.   Screen grab from Chanelnewasia
But taking a step back and looking at the progress, I do agree that it is going in the right direction for a more livable city.
As I reflect on the news article, my thoughts drifted to the above images. I thought of the elderly and the use personal mobility devices. They also serve to give mobility back to those who might not be able to do so. The ah Mas and ah Gongs, who we see at times just sitting at the void decks looking emptily into space. Imagine if they have the personal capacity to move around. Even if its just around the neighborhood. How much difference in their life it would make. 

Yes, I also know that there are many of  E-bike, E-scooters who are creating a nuisance on our pavements, zooming too fast in high human traffic areas. That aside, they are really nifty and useful. Esp to closing the last mile issue. I wrote my thoughts here some time back too. 
While the latest news talk about rule and code of conduct. I also hope that the infrastructure can be made more friendly and considered for the elderly and handicapped. For once, I hope our LTA mobility team perhaps try a wheel chair for a day. Or a bicycle user for a day. Try cycling to work. Not just plan/ design in office environment.  I feel that this would really help them to understand the issues the users face.  
These are not glamorous topic and the journey for improvement would be a long and ongoing one. In the meantime, let's also do our part to feedback if we see obstacles and if we have ideas to make our environment more connected and seamlessly.  Pls don't just complain or bitch. Take a photo and send it in to MSO if you don't know who to send it to. 
After all, we all will grow old too. Someday. 

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