Friday, February 13, 2009

Dedicated?

A strange photo for an article titled "Dedicated cycling paths".

Which is the cycling path? The one on the right according to the painted bicycle symbol on it, or the one on the left since a cyclist is riding on it? Legally, it is the right one, but practically, it seems to be the left one.

My first impression on looking at the photo is that the cycling path look like an obstacle course. How is it called a "dedicated" cycling path?

8 comments:

Nat said...

I suppose the idea is to get the cyclists to slow down since there is som kind of intersection there. It does look funny without any mention of why there are bollards there. Maybe someone wanted to be cheeky and published the image.

I have seen cycle paths in other countries. In Portland, they run parallel to Tram path and is pretty darn dangerous if you get your wheels stuck in the rails. In Japan, the paths run literally every where. But people carry on riding...

I personally appreciate the effort to provide space for cyclists but I suppose it does not do much if there are not enough educated cyclists and drivers.

Back2Nature said...

There are many ways to get cyclists to slow down. So far, the best way is the "A" or inverted "U" shape barrier, that had paralyzed someone, although I have seen and also achieved the stunt of lowering my head and ride through underneath. Basically, putting obstacles in the middle of a path is a bad idea.

I thought bollards are used for blocking entry. Imagine what a tri-cyclist would do? Or a cyclist not too confident to ride through the narrower path? I am sure he would take the pedestrian path at these places. In fact, I bet most will do what the cyclist in the photo does.

Another thing strange is that the bicycle path is further away from the road than the pedestrian path, instead of the other way around. Have you seen such arrangement in other countries? I remember it is the other way around in Berlin and the Netherlands.

Nat said...

Got to concur. Any sort of obstacle is a danger to the unsuspecting cyclist / pedestrian. The design using obstacles shows the inexperience and lack of understanding of the usage of cycle paths. In portland, cycle paths run along roads and they are required to obey traffic rules. The design here seems to foucs on sharing pedestrian pathways instead of sharing the roads.

Like I mntioned earlier, I appreciate the fact that urban plannrs are waking up to the idea of providing cycling friendly infrastructure but it is going to be rough when they design, fail, adapt (Or as it is with failures in Singapore, abandon) the idea. The iterations will leave scars on the future cycle network but that is something we will live with.

To be specific, I think the design of keeping the cycle path inside the walk way tells me that it is more for the pavemnt cyclist (old people / others afraid to be on the road). I would be on the road until we get lanes on the road (which I suspect we might not see any time soon).

Back2Nature said...

I too will be on the road or the pavement but not these inner cycling paths with obstacles. Actually, the bicycle lane in Manchester UK, where I recently been to and rode a folding bike while I was there, is not wide, just about 1m or less. Our double yellow line already about 30-40 cm I guess, so just eat into the grass patch another 40 cm will help a lot.

wari said...

Bah, cycling paths in Singapore are the wrong way around. Pedestrians love to walk in the cycling paths because of the shades, and cyclist, there are two kinds: Like me who rather stay on the roads because of barriers on the paths, and the others who annoy and gets annoyed by pedestrians taking whatever paths they please.

Dennis said...

wari, I think it is wrong for cyclists to feel annoyed when they are on pedestrian path as they should not be in the first place. By the same token, take note that many drivers are [wrongly] annoyed by cyclists on the roads.

wari said...

Heh, you don't say. It gets on my nerves when a cyclist is annoyed at me ringing his bell behind me loudly demanding me to move away, or else...

I do ride the bike, from the old build myself from parts 20+yrs ago, to recent hardtails and roadies, I know what I can and cannot do on the bike, and riding slowly while sharing a path with the pedestrians is not a difficult skill to master.

Maybe I have "exceptional" bike handling skills, well, just maybe a tad better than those MRT bike commuters, but if you can't ride slowly, just walk and push. Pedestrians have to work harder than cyclists (drivers have it too easy), so excuse me if I just take too long to give way, not that I need to.

Back2Nature said...

For those who ring as if shouting to me to give way, usually I don't, and sometime even purposely block them. As a cyclist, I feel that cyclists face more risk and danger than the pedestrian.

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