Monday, September 19, 2011

"Pasir Ris cyclists get dedicated path" - rollout of latest path in LTA's National Cycling Plan

There are two cycling networks in Singapore:
  1. NParks' Park Connector Network (PCN) (recreational cycling amidst greenery and to connect parks) [link]
  2. LTA's National Cycling Plan (cycling paths in seven HDB towns) [link]

The article below refers to the latter.

"Pasir Ris cyclists get dedicated path," by Jermyn Chow. The Straits Times, 19 Sep 2011. New 1.1km path has separate lanes for cyclists and pedestrians

Cyclists trying out the new dedicated cycling path along Pasir Ris Drive 3. The 1.1km stretch that opened yesterday is part of a 13.3km cycling path network that will link different parts of Pasir Ris town and be completed by next year. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

"A 1.1KM path - with separate lanes for cyclists and pedestrians - was rolled out in Pasir Ris yesterday.

Instead of sharing with pedestrians an old 1m-wide footpath, cyclists now have their own lane on a path that has doubled in width.

Painted markings identify the cyclists' lane.

Yesterday, 100 residents were among the first to zip down the bike path in Pasir Ris Drive 3. Alongside the cyclists were brisk-walkers.

The stretch is part of a 13.3km cycling path network that will link different parts of Pasir Ris town. It will be completed by next year, and where space permits, there will even be dedicated cycling tracks.

Launching the new cycling path and flagging off a bike trail yesterday was Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

Mr Teo, who is also an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, said the new path is a 'good step forward' in promoting a safe cycling culture in Pasir Ris where 'cyclists and pedestrians can co-exist'.

He noted that grassroots leaders in Pasir Ris have come up with ideas to stop cyclists from chaining their bicycles to pillars and blocking footpaths.

Mr Alvin Yeo, chairman of the Pasir Ris West Citizens' Consultative Committee, said one preventive measure was constructing railings along the footpaths.

This move was on top of the signs to remind cyclists to park in designated spaces which have bicycle racks.

Mr Yeo said more safe cycling clinics will be conducted, given that seven in 10 residents in Pasir Ris are cyclists. This number is likely to grow as more people move to the area in the next five years.

Safety has been in the spotlight following a spate of deaths involving cyclists. Last year, there were 16 deaths, down from the year before, when there were 17.

In 2007, there were 551 accidents and 22 deaths. Those caught riding in a way that can maim or kill someone could be looking at up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

Pasir Ris is one of seven cycling towns where the Land Transport Authority is developing more than 50km of cycling paths. The others are Tampines, Yishun, Taman Jurong, Sembawang, Changi-Simei and Bedok. A cycling network is also being planned for the Marina Bay area and will be ready by 2014. Some $43 million has been set aside to build infrastructure in designated cycling towns.

Cheering the new bike paths is Pasir Ris resident Ong Pang Gee who cycles to Pasir Ris Park and White Sands shopping mall every other day.

The 58-year-old father of three, who is self-employed, said: 'With my own lane, I have peace of mind when I'm on my bike and do not have to worry about knocking into pedestrians.'


tk said...

Once again the Straits Times has outdone itself with its scaremongering tactics and strawmen arguments even as it lauds the construction of a new dedicated cycling path.

It would be good to see the Safe Cycling taskforce publicly point out to the reporter and editor that;

a) 16 dead cyclists is a fraction of the number of dead pedestrians and dead motorists and their passengers. Why didn't stories in the Straits Times announcing the construction of the new NS expressway or Bukit Brown Rd point out that more than 100 motorists, motorcyclists and passengers died on Singapore's roads last year? Isn't this the most glaring double standard?


b) The following sentence is the most audacious piece of confounding reporting: "In 2007, there were 551 accidents and 22 deaths. Those caught riding in a way that can maim or kill someone could be looking at up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both." The two things are completely unconnected - the cyclist accidents and deaths were a result of drivers hitting cyclists, not cyclists hitting pedestrians.

Sure, a cyclist may land in jail for a year for killing a pedestrian, but in fact this has not happened recently (ever?) in Singapore. Whereas motorists may be liable for up to 5 years in jail for dangerous driving amidst other offences, but rarely receive sentences of more than 1 month, even though as I said 55 pedestrians and 16 cyclists were killed - by motorists.

David said...

Hi, completely off-topic but I have a question about cycling in sg. I'm visiting there soon and was planning on bringing my folding bike -- I'll be staying at the Elizabeth Hotel (24 Mount Elizabeth) and attending a conference at NUS (Prince George’s Park). Would the commute between these locations be simple enough? Could anyone suggest a nice route? Any answers much appreciated -- I'm looking forward to having a look around the city. email