Friday, July 04, 2008

Letter to Today: "what are we waiting for?"

Pedal Power

Letter from Kelvin Kwan Chee Hong. Today, 04 Jul 2008.

"NO ONE can dispute that the humble bicycle has a role in our transport system, both now and in the future. Thus, I would like to appeal to the Land Transport Authority and the Traffic Police to come up with clear strategies and rules to support this form of transportation, considering the energy crisis and the go-green movement.

For a start, a code for all cyclists using our roads should be immediately made available in booklet form and on the Internet. This would help everyone understand what is required and the penalties they would face, should they flout the laws of the road. Police officers should be seen actively enforcing the rules to inculcate discipline, and over time, achieve high conformance and order.

Surely it goes against existing traffic rules for cyclists to ride on pedestrian paths, but I have noticed that the police generally close one eye where these offenders are concerned. This only emboldens the cyclists, lulling them into believing that they have the right of way. As a result, they speed, ring their bells impatiently at senior citizens and brush against mothers with babies, or pedestrians carrying heavy bags. To make matters worse, these cyclists come from all directions, disregarding basic courtesy.

More and safer parking facilities for bicycles should be provided to stop indiscriminate parking and theft of parts. Where possible, bicycle lanes should be provided and schools should conduct cycling classes to promote good riding habits.

So, what are we waiting for?"

4 comments:

Hun Boon said...

I'm placing a deposit on a folding bicycle this afternoon. It'll help to reduce my car usage, and get more exercise at the same time.

Yes I know I'm not supposed to cycle on the pedestrian walkways, but I'll be very hesitant to cycle on the roads. The possibility of serious injury or death is all too real.

Until the day roads are widened and cycle paths are built, bicycles will just have to share the space with pedestrians.

I agree that bicycles should always give way to pedestrians, just as drivers should always give way to cyclists.

Currently, this government might not feel that bicycles are a viable mode of transport in hot and rainy Singapore.

But reality says otherwise, just look at the increasing number of bicycles around us. It's gotten higher since the influx of foreign workers.

This situation will just get worse, so we have to act fast. We have a lot of work to do, in terms of physical infrastructure, education, and regulations.

Larry L. said...

2 things: 1) Riding on pedestrian paths is dangerous for both the cyclist and pedestrians. Cars do not expect riders to come from those places and people can be injured by an unsteady rider. 2) I do not ring my bell 'at' people, I ring it to let them know I am coming behind them.

Sivasothi said...

I have generally managed not to ring my bell most of the time; I may slow to a crawl but I'd rather not alarm a pedestrian.

Wreaks havoc on my trip's average speed but I treat pedestrian like kings and queens. I hate hearing a bicycle bell rung at me when I'm walking, you see. let have pedestrians have their refuge.

dclh said...

I too do not ring my bell, in fact, my bell had been gone for close to a decade. I will slow to a crawl, or "half-dismount" (moving with 1 leg lightly pushing the ground). You may not be ringing "at" them but they will be unpleasantly alarmed.

As a pedestrian, I too hate cyclists ring their bell on pavement. I will basically ignore and continue on my path, and may gently filter to one side if I notice the cyclist is waiting for a clear path. However, if the bell doesn't sound nice, I will intentionally delay the cyclist time :P, but of course safety first :)