Thursday, November 24, 2005

Submit feedback on Bicycle policy to MCYS e-Consultation Paper

e-Consultation Paper. Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports: Safety and Health Aspects of Environment, Transport and Housing issues. Target Audience: General Public. Consultation period from 22 Nov 2005 11:00:00 AM to 06 Dec 2005 11:00:00 AM. Status : In Progress.

T5. Bicycle policy neglect is not working
Serious effort is needed to come up with a coherent policy on bicycles. Despite being a small part of our land transport system, bicycles potentially have a useful part to play with low costs and low impacts on others. Much can be done to make cycling safer and more attractive without requiring much space (and even if we build no bicycle lanes). Bicycle safety should be considered in all road designs because even if pavement cycling becomes legal many bicycles will continue to be ridden on roads.

The Physical Development Feedback Group will be presenting the final recommendation paper at the Feedback Unit's Annual Conference for Feedback Groups to be held on 21 Jan 2006.


Thanks to Chu Wa for the alert.

Complete version from the paper:
T5. Bicycle policy neglect is not working
Bicycle safety again hit the news several times in 2005 in embarrassing and tragic ways.
We lack a coherent policy towards bicycles as a part of the transport system. LTA is the leading land transport policy agency but so far the LTA has seemed reluctant to provide leadership in this area, to take primary responsibility for bicycle policy or to take bicycles seriously in general.
• We suggest that the LTA commission a serious study of the policy options on bicycles. Bicycle policy involves more than ‘bicycle lanes’ and includes software issues of education, enforcement, encouragement as well as engineering (hardware) issues. We still need a coherent policy even if we decide not to encourage bicycles as much as European or Japanese cities do.
Bicycle use is ignored in transport data collection. Cycling in certain parts of the island (for example, the east and north and in many parks) and for certain purposes (eg trips to MRT and especially for leisure) appears to be increasing but it is difficult to know for sure. We should include bicycles in all travel surveys
• In practice, many bicycle users ride on pavements (which is currently illegal but with the prohibition not enforced) while some use the roads. MP Irene Ng suggested making pavement cycling legal (as in Japan) and the Traffic Police are reviewing this issue. However, even if pavement cycling becomes legal, many bicycles will continue to be ridden on roads (bicycles may appear on any road that is legally open to them).
Significant aspects of the road network have been designed without apparent awareness that bicycles will be used on them, thus failing to take responsibility for the safety of a group of legitimate road users. LTA’s road design standards should include a statutory requirement for bicycle safety and convenience to be considered in the design or redesign of every road where bicycles are legal to be ridden (even if no special facilities are provided). Examples of dangerous designs include: multiple left turning lanes (especially when one of these allows for both a left turn or to proceed straight); narrow kerb-side lanes; narrow bus lanes; drainage grates running parallel to traffic; slip road designs that encourage high traffic speeds on left turns; multi-lane roundabouts.
We suggest that the Traffic Police focus limited enforcement resources on those behaviours (both by motor vehicles and bicycle users) that are most dangerous (a bicycle-safety-focused enforcement strategy). Relevant agencies: LTA, MOT, MHA, Traffic Police

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