Saturday, July 24, 2010

My cycling in Singapore experiences - commenting on cycling paths

A long comments to the post A little tour of Sembawang bicycle infrastructure.

The main helpful thing is the authority is doing something about it, period. However, the things they have done seems to have almost equal pros and cons.

I am not familiar about the situation in Japan, but it seems like just making the paths wider, less kerbs will do. It is better not to have all those signs and regulations, if what is being requested is not natural and not easy to be enforced. Anyway, cyclists are not evil or stupid to go out to create problems [except those immature ones but that is a different problem].

It seems to me there isn't much issues in Toa Payoh, where the originally relative wide footpaths (built in the 70s) were indirectly widened with the cover up of many drains here. Whereas, I realized from my last visit to Woodlands near Admiralty MRT how narrow their footpaths and roads are, and made worse by some trees and overhead bridge stairs taking out half of the already narrow footpaths.

I am happy about WKS answer saying it is apparently OK to ride across pedestrian crossings, but not happy when nobody stressed the main issue of not to ride faster than normal walking speed across pedestrian crossings.

As a cyclist, I don't see much good in asking cyclists to dismount. Some reasons:
1) it is not too easy to dismount when carrying someone else [though it may be illegal], or some heavy stuffs.
2) other than those lady bikes, cyclist may kick someone by the act of dismounting.
3) in narrow paths, dismounting create a wider object (cyclists and bicycle side by side) and create more congestions.
Just as we don't ask motorists to change to first gear, but to slow down. Can't we demand the similar to cyclists, to slow down?

On one hand, I hope the authorities go out and study how other cities have done it successfully. On the other hand, I hope they don't expect the same effect as the demographics is different or unique here. Compare to other cities, I think we have
1) more teenagers and younger kids, aka immature cyclists, roaming the streets than most other cities. (This is a different problem that shouldn't be tackled by bicycle infrastructure)
2) more elder pedestrians outdoors.
3) more pedestrians who don't drive/cycle.
4) more pedestrians.
5) shorter footpaths.
Thus, don't expect to achieve a cycling path that facilitate fast riding in the near and relatively further future.

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