Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Northside goes One Up against the Eastside

With all the recent hooha about whether each township should install bicycle-friendly facilities for the residents, the Northside consisting of Sembawang and Woodlands have forged ahead with plans for cycling paths. Meanwhile, the eastern town of Tampines is still being cautious about implementing shared footpaths for pedestrians and bicycle users.

Both town councils have a very pragmatic approach to making their townships liveable and 'green', and I'm sure it bodes well in terms of setting a standard for other townships to follow. This is a necessary step to ensure harmony by indirectly promoting graciousness between all transport users. I know it sounds kinda utopian, but isn't it better than not having such facilities?

My only hope is that the cycling paths are planned according to international standards so we all start right from the beginning.

2 comments:

dclh said...

Actually, I am not too supportive about having cycling paths. I like to see more cycling friendly infrastructures, and also more pedestrian friendly ones. I feel that cycling path is not necessary cycling friendly, nor promote safety for pedestrians. With cycling path, there will be a new problem: getting cyclists to be patience with pedestrians who may walk on them for whatever good or bad reasons.

I really hope the visions and objectives are clear and efforts are directed in achieving them, instead of just simply implement or build something to show actions and fake concerns. That is, at the designing stage, make sure there isn't paths that are too inconvenient and unnatural to ride or walk on.

onelesscar said...

Agree with dclh that the motivations behind the cycling paths have not been spelt out well. Do people know, for example, that off-road cyclists tend to have higher accident rates than on-road cyclists? Or do people just support off-road cycling paths only because they 'intuitively' think they are safer? Facilities should not be built on the sole basis of feedback from uninformed residents on what they want. Was there any input from urban transport experts on this issue? Have people considered externalities such as a decrease in cyclists on the road making roads overall less safe for the remaining road cyclists?

Another fear I have is that the more of these paths we have, the more motorists feel entitled to bully cyclists on the roads. Already, many think that cyclists 'should not' be on the roads. Do we really need to reinforce that attitude?