Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cycling in Singapore

It has been many months since I rode my bicycle to Bedok Reservoir Park for a gruelling run. I have been busy with things here and there and hence a quick run is what I have these days. Besides, cycling is dangerous and I have a near brush with death on Chinese New Year day this year (see post).

As I rode my bicycle towards Bedok Reservoir Park, to my indignation and fury, the lacklustre, nonchalant attitudes of the motorists towards cyclists have not changed. There were so many drivers who simply zoomed and inched past me as I pushed my bicycle across the pedestrian crossings (those without traffic lightings) though I had given clear signals to cross well in advance. Many motorists of Singapore today simply drive their car in any manner they like, with blatant disregard to other road users such as pedestrians. The road situation in Singapore these days is really messy! Singaporeans’ driving habits are getting worse and worse and I hope the traffic police can do more to inculcate better driving habits among Singaporeans and not wait to respond to traffic fatalities… by then it would be already too late.

One suggestion could be having traffic policemen posing as pedestrians to cross the traffic lights. They should immediately fine and prosecute those drivers whose cars still turn to intersect, inch past them as they cross the road.

There is the perennial debate on where cyclists should belong: the pedestrian pathway or on the road. Pedestrians have complained of reckless cyclists who share their path endangering the safety of their and their children. However, in my opinion, these are just the minority, most cyclists signal well in advance before overtaking the pedestrians.

Should cyclists be ordered to take to the roads only, I should give up my passion of cycling as it is super dangerous to cycle along with the cars and other vehicles. A small bicycle is so vulnerable on these big lanes dedicated to the heavier modes of transport!

Anyway, the run at Bedok Reservoir park was simply lovely! The park has been recently renovated and now it boosts of pedestrian bridges which jut out into the sea. There are always scores of people playing remote-controlled flying planes in the sky as well as remote-controlled little toy boats out in the open waters. Speed boating skis, canoeing, dragon-boating, and treetop adventure walks and skis make up the other half of the equation.


Anonymous said...

Bedok Reservoir Park sounds like a great place to relax. I'm not familiar with the area (I'm a mountain tortoise outside of Orchard - haha).

It's too bad that cyclists hv little safe passage in which to ride. NL is a cyclist nation, so we hv cyclist paths in the neighbourhoods, as well as next to provincial roads (not the highway tho, the traffic is too hectic).

I wouldnt know how Sg is going to tackle this issue since roads r already so congested. Perhaps in planning new roads, the planning committee could take into account in leaving a slice of the way for cyclist to ride safely ?

Actually within any neighbourhood in Sg, there r parks where u could cycle to ur heart's contend ?

Anonymous said...

Different traffic culture I would say. Here, if you try to change lane and someone on that lane might horn to warn you not to change. In Indonesia, it seems like you can horn, telling others that you are changing lane, and other drivers will allow you to.

Recently when I drove in Las Vegas, once I need to turn left but not on the left-turning lane and a car was behind. I behaved Singaporeanly waiting for it to turn first before I change lane. However, the driver waited behind for me to turn first instead.

To Dutchie, yes please, please tell/educate our planners that. They have been assuming that due to land scarcity, they can't afford any slice of way for cyclists, which I read from others saying that this assumption is wrong.

By the way, I enjoyed cycling in Eindhoven when I was there for a week back in 2003.

Singapore Short Stories said...

Thanks Back2Nature,

Whenever I cross a junction or pedestrian crossing with my bicycle, I would look left, look right, before crossing or dismount.

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