Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Response to sharing pavements

Five letters were published in The Straits Times Forum page, 8th March 2005 in response to an earlier article suggesting that cyclists may get to share pavements with pedestrians.

1/5 - Save pavements for vulnerable pedestrians

THE first line in the Parliament report, 'Cyclists may get to ride on pavements' (ST, March 4), says it all: 'Pedestrians, watch out'.

Why watch out? Because it is not safe to have both cyclists and pedestrians on the same pavement.

Vehicles belong on the road and pedestrians on the pavement, and the bicycle is a vehicle. There is a buffer between the wheel, the handle bar and the cyclist but there is no buffer for the pedestrian in a collision between the two.

If cyclists are to be allowed on the pavement, the bicycle lane should be demarcated clearly and a kerb should separate the bicycle lane from the pedestrian path.

It is much easier to mark out a bicycle lane on the road than to create space on the pavement for bicycles.

Alternatively, bicycles can share the bus lanes, which could be made off limits to other vehicles.

Cyclists should have their space but not on the pavement.

Anthony Leong Chee Hong

2/5 - Don't neglect the safety of pedestrians

I APPLAUD Member of Parliament Irene Ng's lobbying for cyclists' safety ('Cyclists may get to ride on pavements'; ST, March 4). Indeed, accidents involving cy- clists have been on the increase.

However, I wonder if anyone is lobbying for pedestrians' safety. Having lived in 'Bicycle Town' Pasir Ris for the last 14 years, I have had my share of accidents with cyclists while walking on pavements.

On Friday morning, a cyclist brushed past me at high speed. The bicycle handle hit me hard and left me bruised. The rather well-dressed cyclist did not even stop to check on me.

On another occasion, a cyclist, also travelling at high speed on the pavement, hit a student from the back, causing superficial injuries. But what was most shocking was the cyclist's response. First, he shouted 'sh*t', then accused the student of 'not walking straight'.

These are but two very recent examples of the perils of walking along pavements in Pasir Ris. And the danger is not confined to pavements; cyclist-pedestrian accidents can also be witnessed frequently at our beach parks.

What irks me is that even when it is illegal to ride on pavements, cyclists are already bullying pedestrians. Should the legislation be changed, I fear taking a walk in Singapore, which has yet to become a gracious society.

Please understand that I am for cyclists' safety and am willing to share the pavement. However, don't neglect the safety of pedestrians too, lest my town becomes Pasir Ris-ky.

John Toh Boon Jauw

3/5 - Take a leaf out of Australia's book

I REFER to the article, 'Cyclists may get to ride on pavement' (ST, March 4). The average width of a pavement is about 1.2m. With cyclists riding on the pavement, there is little space left for pedestrians.

In Australia, cyclists - clad in safety helmets and reflective vests - share the road with motorists, who give way to them.

Alan Yap Ken Kuo

4/5 - Will 'pavement code' be obeyed?

PRESENTLY many cyclists do not obey the simple rule about staying off the pavement. Is there any reason to believe that they will somehow comply with a new 'Use of Pavement Code' to be drawn up?

Many cyclists are foreign workers or elderly retired persons. Unless it is made compulsory for them to take up insurance, I foresee that those injured by 'pavement cyclists' would be left without compensation when they are not at fault.

Finally, cyclists are not the only road users bullied by drivers of larger vehicles; motorcyclists and drivers of smaller cars are also at their mercy.

Lee Siew Boo

5/5 - Jog-Cum-Cycle path for Ponggol Road

I WOULD like the authorities to consider building a jogging-cum-cycling path along Ponggol Road.

I have often seen joggers, walkers and cyclists using the main road early in the morning and in the evening, sharing the road with huge trucks, buses, lorries and cars, which frequently shave past each other, posing a very dangerous situation.

Chan Wai Chong

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All replies thjat I have seen here are very valid.

Please note that the main reason for aPEDESTRIAN WALK WAY/PAVEMENT/ FOOT PATH or whatever name this walkway has been called the term "BICYCLE" does not appear in it.

The majority of Singapore bicyclists are selfish and inconsiderate. This is very clear in the "Test" or Evaluation" town centre Tampines. It is all well and good for the MP (Irene Ng) to talk but despite advice on pushing bicycles across traffic crossings, giving pedestrians the right of way, riding at slow speeds these actions have not taken place.

All the talk is usless if the "Suggesting MP" does not check out these transgressions herself without the normal entourage that follows an MP around to really see what can of worms and dangers pedestrians are going to be facing or currently are facing.

Is not a trial supposed to be monitored by the relevant authorities namely the SPRF and LTA. The realiry is no

I am a resident of Tampines and walk daily to the MRT station to commute work.

"Hell's Angel Bikers" of the non-motorised kind think of the Pedestrian Footpath as their own Highway and to hell with pedestrians. The age groups from young adults to mature citizens.

Is the proposer aware of this in her own constituency and are the authorities morally courageous enough to dominate the ground and deter such actions. To date sorrofully to say not one of these parties have seen the DIRTY SIDE of "Bicycling on Pavements" or choose not to see these actions and worst of all SPF and LTA not having the moral courage to deter such actions despite such a law existing in Singapore.

I wonder what happened to the part of our National Pledge which states "Based on justice and equality ...."

Tampines Resident snice 1985