Wednesday, July 6, 2011

This week in Singapore: Tensions on footpath-cyclist relations

Apologies for the large pause in posts. I have been busy with another blog that I'm just starting up and also I haven't had any ideas what to write about. Perhaps readers can tell me what you'd like to know? It can be anything related to cycling from my opinions on the state of affairs, to why I would never use Lady Gaga in my own cycling videos, unlike whoever was behind this year's NDP. Send me an email or leave a comment, eh?

Right. This week, two letters have hit TODAYonline. Guess what about? Yes, again and again it's topic that is inextricable from everyone's heads when a pedestrian meets a cyclist. Laws, cycling, Tampines town and DSP William Goh, Asst. Director Media Relations, SPF.

DSP William, July 2:
Under the Road Traffic Rules, cyclists are prohibited from cycling on the footways except in Tampines Town, where riding on the footway was made legal on March 1, last year under the Road Traffic (Bicycles) (Exemption) Order 2010. When travelling on the roads, cyclists, like all other road users, are required to abide by traffic rules and regulations.

For their own safety and that of other road users, cyclists are advised to alight from their bicycles and push them across pedestrian crossings instead of riding across them.

Motorists on their part also play a significant role keeping our busy roads safe and should accord due care to cyclists. Motorists are required to stop before riding or driving across a zebra crossing. When approaching pedestrian crossings, they are required to slow down and keep a proper lookout for other road users.

Our roads are only as safe as we make them. Every road user plays a part in making our roads and pedestrian crossings safe. 

 Toh Chong Siong, July 4, replies:
I refer to the Singapore Police Force's (SPF) letter, "Cyclists, motorists must abide by road rules" (July 2).

While the SPF was clear on rules governing cycling, their letter was conspicuously silent on the matter of "enforcement" which is the crux of the issue.

Cyclists are happily cycling on footways and across pedestrian crossings all over the island, often insisting on their right to do so by ringing their bells to get foot traffic out of their way. Motorists are fined for far less serious offences.

Can the SPF tell us how many errant cyclists have been fined or penalised in the last year?

Huang Lifen, July 5, adds fuel to Chong Siong's fire:

We are also aware of the fact that cyclists are flouting the rules and are cycling on pedestrian paths all over Singapore.

As an able-bodied adult, I am able to get out of harm's way from cyclists on pedestrian paths. I would like to point out that the same may not be true for certain people, like the elderly, pregnant women and children.

As the fares for public transport become increasingly expensive, among the other costs of living, cycling is becoming the choice of transport.

The relevant authorities should work out a feasible way for both pedestrians and cyclists to use public paths safely.

Asking cyclists to go on the roads and keeping off pedestrian paths is a safety hazard for the cyclists themselves.

Furthermore, cyclists can only signal their intention to stop or turn with their hands, which means their control of the vehicle is compromised
It is time to put on the thinking cap and brainstorm for a solution. I am sure the public is more interested in a solution than on facts hurled in our faces that hardly help the situation.

1 comment:

  1. able to have more cycling path for cyclist and their bike to cycle on it