Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Time to change negative attitude towards cycling - By Gordon Reid

Taken from Todayonline.... I am glad we are not alone in our thoughts.! Thank you Mr Reid for speaking up for cyclists in Singapore!
"Given the recent problems with Singapore's public transport, I would like to draw attention to the negative attitude here towards cycling.
For such a developed and green-friendly place, there are practically no safe bicycle parking areas, besides a few parks and Mass Rapid Transit stations.
If, for instance, I want to commute by bicycle to the shops or to work, there is nowhere to safely lock my bike. This includes any form of bike racks.
And for a place with little crime, there seems to be a disproportionate level of bike theft. Obviously, there is a crime racket stealing bicycles, even ones with expensive locks.
While sticker IDs are now available, what is to stop a thief from removing it? How would the police track the stolen bike?
Singaporeans are constantly complaining about crowding on public transport and the peak-hour traffic jams. I am surprised then that encouraging commuters to cycle is not a national focus.
Instead, there are blogs shaming cyclists because they lock their bicycles to signposts or fences. Due to the lack of facilities, just where can cyclists lock their bikes?
Public housing estates have inadequate and unsafe areas for securing bikes. Residents are not allowed to lock them in common areas on their floors, but if you use the old-style bicycle racks in an unprotected void deck, there is no guarantee of the bike's safety.
To expand Singapore's wonderful public infrastructure, I suggests that government officials visit places such as Tokyo, Melbourne and Copenhagen to see how bicycles are used to commute to work, school and the shops.
Please Singapore, bicycles are not just for the poor."  Gordon Reid


  1. ha, how coincidentall! today i wrote the following to corpcomms@smrt.com.sg
    Dear Sir / Madam,

    I'm writing to express my concern at the location of the bike parking facilities at the Circle line station at Buona Vista, and indeed at many of the new CC stations. While the design of the racks is great (congratulations on choosing the staple rack design), their location and lack of covering leaves them extremely well short of world's best practice.

    At Buona Vista station (North Buona Vista Rd, northbound) the bike parking is conveniently located near the station entrance, but it is totally exposed to the elements. It is obviously not good for the sometimes quite expensive bikes to be left out all day in the rain, not to mention how unpleasant it is to have to lock up while standing in the pelting rain. You wouldn't ask car owners to leave their windows down the whole day out in the rain would you? It is the same thing.

    Similarly, the bike racks on the southbound side of N. Buona Vista Rd, at the MOE entrance, are extremely poorly located. Not only are they around the rear of the lift, out of sight of any passing pedestrians (which is an important deterrent to theft - much more so than CCTV, which is rarely if ever useful in preventing bike theft), they are also similarly uncovered. Not to mention completely unsigned - unless you look hard you'd never know they were there. It is no wonder that I have seen bicycles chained instead to the staircase railings where they are more both more visible to passersby, and undercover.

    Incidentally, I have seen bikes parked here garner warning stickers from the Station Master indicating that they will be removed as they are improperly parked. They are not in anyone's way, and surely your staff have more important things to worry about at the moment than cyclists who leave their bikes in out-of-the-way, safe, undercover locations instead of the exposed and inconvenient locations that the person who designed your stations designated.

    As part of your "Clean and Green Commuting Experience" commitment, you should be encouraging people to cycle to the MRT station as part of their journey, but the current parks are grossly inadequate. You have made a good start, but many improvements still need to be made.

    Yours Sincerely,

  2. well done Thomask! Thanks for speaking up too!