Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bus lanes ...BusBike idea to make it safer on SG roads

 Do you know as cyclist, you can cycle in the bus lanes?Well to many I checked(cyclists, motorist), most don't know if it is allowed.  We asked LTA during the first meeting (2nd July 2012) and it was confirmed by the Traffic Management (Teo KL) that it is. The point I am trying to make is that there is a general lack of awareness (from both the motorist and cyclist part) for the traffic rules and safety for one another.
I attach the Singapore Road traffic act... which is written Lawyer speak and not easy for the general public to comprehend...;page=0;query=DocId:%22ba3acbce-2ce4-4b3f-8011-5bfae19cfbbc%22%20Status:inforce%20Depth:0;rec=0#legis
Also see this forum letter by Lynn and she expresses that the Traffic Rules and Road Safety works both ways.
Forum comment by Lynn Tan    Straits Time 23th Aug 2012
Ok, Red light stop, Green Light go is a given. But knowing how to be safe and watch out for each other is not really practised. I also drive and if u like to observe this quirks of many SG motorists.
Don't believe me, try this..... Driving along the road in traffic, signal ur intention to switch lane. And look for the reaction of the drivers when you flip the signal.. and just watch (dun forget to look forward too ok). The signal lights are a cue to speed up. If you are an in-experienced driver, you will be so frozen and scared to change the lane. This is not 100% of the time but I am sure if you drive you know what I mean. 
I try to emphasize the motorist plight and see their point of view. It is frustrating to be sitting in traffic, inching along.  Sometime it is slow that I think cycling would get me to work faster. And from the motorists perspective reading from the news... "what???? now bicycles also want to use the road...wah lau eh... it's so crowded"
And this is precisely why I think the car approach cannot be the only option. Look at this very famous photo done by the City of Muenster Planning office way back in 2001. It shows visually how cars, bus, bicycles use the space on the road. 
It is crowded... the more we need to think out of the box...  Photo credit Press office city of munste, Germany
Over coffee and chats to find ideas to make cycling safer in SG, we came up with this "low hanging fruit solution" which just might work in the Singapore context. Sure, it would mean adjusting our behaviour a and of course there will be problems but what do you think we should do.. build more highways? 
Please read more as Francis articulates the concept.

COE is already touching the 100k mark and expected to reach ever higher prices. Which means car ownership it is really out of the normal Singaporean reach. At least to me that is. I know when my car COE expires in 2 years time... I will have to give up the car option... hopefully some progress would have been made to cycling safety which will give an safe, economical and healthy alternative to the mass transport(Bus, MRT).
I know good people like Francis are already doing lots to show that is is possible. 
From the cyclist view... this is a nice one without the cars zipping past too close to us
Photo and edit by Francis Chu 

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