"A trio of avid cyclists have started a project to measure lane widths of roads around Singapore, hoping it will eventually lead to more space for cyclists.
They believe that the lanes on some roads can be narrowed to create more room for cyclists to ride between the kerb and double yellow lines at the side of the road.
They have begun to measure lane widths on several roads, and plan to submit a proposal to the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to narrow the lanes by the end of this year.
The idea for such a project first hit product designer Francis Chu, 51, last November, when he was cycling along Bayfront Avenue to the Marina Bay Sands.
He said there was a 1.2m space between the kerb and double yellow lines there, which allowed him to ride comfortably and away from traffic.
'It's usually stressful cycling across a bridge, but I felt comfortable and relaxed. If more roads in Singapore could be like this, it will be beneficial for cyclists,' he said. 'It will also be less stressful for motorists if cyclists kept within the double yellow lines.'
Mr Chu, who is launching a bicycle- sharing programme called Isuda, roped in two friends - Singapore Management University undergraduate Chuah Sun Soon, 26, and product designer Yang Tah Ching, 46.
They began documenting lane widths later that month, beginning with several streets in Toa Payoh. They have posted the measurements on lovecycling.net, the website of a local cycling group.
At Toa Payoh Rise, they found the distance between the kerb and double yellow lines was 60cm, the width of the first lane from the double yellow lines was 2.8m and that of the fast lane, 3.3m.
Said Mr Chu: 'We are trying to identify potential areas in Singapore where the lane width can be reduced to allow more space for cyclists. If there is extra space on some lanes, why can't it be shifted to create more space between the kerb and the yellow lines?'
Mr Yang said this could be done without much infrastructural changes, by simply repainting lane markings.
The Straits Times understands that lane widths are determined based on factors such as the speed limit in an area and the volume of traffic there.
The trio have measured several roads in Toa Payoh and Ubi so far, and plan to scope out the Geylang area next month. Their goal is not to measure all roads, but to gather enough data to show that there is room to create safer cycling spaces on some roads.
With cycling rapidly gaining popularity in the last few years, there has been a constant call from cyclists for better facilities. Many feel squeezed and, at times, endangered when pedalling on the roads. Meanwhile, there are drivers who feel that cyclists tend to hog the road and slow down traffic.
This personal project is the latest bid to improve riding conditions for cyclists. A much publicised initiative launched in December 2010 was OCBC Cycle Singapore's safe cycling campaign to get drivers to give cyclists 1.5m of space when overtaking them."
Road rules for cyclists
UNDER the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Rules, cyclists are:
- Prohibited from riding on the right side of another vehicle that is not a bicycle, unless they are attempting to overtake the vehicle.
- Allowed to ride two abreast in the same direction on a public road, except when overtaking. If three or more cyclists are riding in a group, they must ride in pairs or in single file.
- Required to keep to the left-hand edge of the roadway, and not in a way so as to obstruct other vehicles moving at a faster speed.
- Required to ride in an orderly manner, with due regard for the safety of others.