Oh so how often have i encountered drivers in Singapore not giving way to cyclists (not too bad); overtaking cyclists to close to comfort usually <1M (bad) and cutting suddenly often without signal into a cyclist’s path (very bad). While this is not a bashing drivers vs cyclists post, it as if like its a crime and lawfully wrong to cycle in Singapore. Especially with the new article written by Straits Times here . While i understand that most cyclists do not know commit stupid offenses like riding on expressways and anyhow changing lanes,the article seems to have 10 paragraphs bashing cyclists and reminding them of the road traffic act.It seems that it is a crime to cycle on foot-ways apparently and that cyclists can be fined. I wonder if the law was enacted when motor vehicles have a max speed of 50km/h or something but with kiasu/impatient drivers, I as a normal cyclist laden with goods/people on my bike would definitely NOT cycle on the road. Hell i might even get spooked off and might even fall down and injure myself.
I do not know what is the government S$43 million “National Cycling Plan” i feel that it could be money better spent. Most of the cycling pathway that i encountered are almost always crap to cycle due to bricks instead of tarmac as pathways. And pathways leading to nowhere all to bridges requiring cyclists to dismount and push their bikes across underpasses and bridge. Well, personally IMHO, for a cycling path to be successful and to be usable, it needs to provide a sort of unbroken pathway from point A to point B with as few distraction as possible. Cyclists depend on momentum to get around smoothly and with frequent dismounts, it might be very stressful and waste more energy than driving a car.
What I suggest instead is simpler and not so expensive. While it is impossible for Singapore to have Beijing-styled roads with separate passageways for both vehicles and bicycles,
I think it is okay for bicycles to share the extreme left lane with buses. Instead of having a 8am-5pm bus lanes for now, I would propose painting yellow lines for all extreme left lane and convert it into a full-time bus/cycling lane. Reasons are 1)It is cheaper 2)It requires a slight change in Traffic Laws 3)It uses less space as compared to a dedicated cycling lane. Even though some cyclists may be uncomfortable at the thought of cycling together with traffic and with buses. With training and changes in way of cycling, I believe that they can adapt to the situation.
Actually, having started cycling on the road 5 years back, I feel that drivers have really improved in terms of attitude and behavior. Last time, i would get honking whenever i occupied the extreme most lane. Some assholic drivers will even spook me by overtaking closely. Now 5 years on, Assholic drivers still exist but lesser occurrence and drivers horn; but only to signal that they are overtaking and of course, more and more people are cycling expensive road bikes as well.
Though cycling in Singapore may be bad, but in the future, i hope that the policy-makers in Singapore can U-turn their decision on their Draconian law on cyclists and make it more conducive to cycle. With the limited amount of fossil fuels and with ever increasing prices, I foresee even more people to pick up cycling