Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Straits Times: "Sembawang, Woodlands to get cycling paths"

"Sembawang, Woodlands to get cycling paths," by He Zongying and Daryl Tan. The Straits Times, 25 Jun 2008. 7.4km of tracks will run alongside existing footpaths and cost $2.8m.

Cyclists and pedestrians in Sembawang and Woodlands will each get their own space from May next year.

These two estates will be provided with 7.4km of cycling tracks. They will run parallel to the existing footpaths linking residential areas to the Sembawang and Admiralty MRT stations.

The cycling tracks will be between 1.5m and 2m wide and cost $2.8 million.

Keeping cyclists on a separate path is a step up from what the Land Transport Authority, the Traffic Police and the Tampines grassroots organisations have been contemplating in the past year.

A trial letting cyclists and pedestrians share footpath space in Tampines has recently ended and a decision on whether separate cycle paths should be built in the estate is expected soon.

Surveys have indicated that both cyclists and pedestrians there seemed generally in favour of the idea of sharing the footpaths in order to get cyclists off the busy roads.

The initiative in Sembawang and Woodlands was the result of feedback from residents, who wanted to minimise accidents and conflict between cyclists and pedestrians.

Mr Hawazi Daipi, an MP for Sembawang GRC, said that the two estates were going ahead with building the cycling tracks because a 'considerable' number of their residents got around the neighbourhood on bicycles. This includes foreign workers living in the dormitories there.

Three in four cyclists killed on the roads in the first three months of this year were foreigners. The Traffic Police have stepped up a safety education programme targeting them.

The committee coordinating the facilities in Sembawang, Woodlands and Yishun has lined up talks and seminars for residents and foreign workers on the responsible use of the cycling tracks.

Signs and speed-regulating strips will also be installed.

Besides those who commute on wheels, recreational cyclists will also be provided for. A park connector running along Sembawang Way will be built by 2010.

Thanks to WildSingapore.

See also this comment.

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