Saturday, August 6, 2016

Singapore Cycling on the Ride Track

I was very pleased to open the Sunday Times of 7 Aug 2016 at breakfast and read an article about how cycling is really picking up in Singapore. With cars strategically priced 4 - 5 times more than other countries to manage congestion, and greater demands on public transport, many people are turning to the humble bicycle for their transport solution.

It is heartening to know that infrastructure for cycling is getting a much needed ramp-up in Singapore with extended bicycle paths constructed all over the island under the National Cycling Plan. The goal of putting in 700km of park connectors and dedicated bike paths is truly admirable considering Singapore is just a small island of 50km by 27km. Very soon, it is possible to get from the suburbs of Toa Payoh or Marine Parade to Marina Bay City Centre in just 30 minutes by bicycle, safely and congestion free. Bike sharing scheme is also being implemented soon and it is indeed a very exciting time for Singapore.

More about Singapore's impressive transport solutions here and it's goal of being a "car-lite" country. Besides the obvious heath benefits of cycling, the time and cost efficiency of the humble bicycle is truly compelling as can be seen in this chart.

Pic fm Land Transport Master Plan

But what caught my eye in the article is the feature of several families who are already making cycling their transport, 2 of which are personal friends of mine.

George and Wendy are regulars on Lovethefold and you will recognised them in many of our adventures. They are in fact on the VSTR Adventure starting tomorrow! George's passion is the restoration of old folding bicycles and there is no couple more jolly, easy going and fun than them.

William and Grace are both dedicated Brompton riders and I met them last year in Penang Campaign for a Lane ride or known as CFAL. William commutes to work and it is great to see him post of his rides daily on Facebook.  They very generously blessed me with a very useful gift for my Brompton and I am looking forward to touring with them one day.

It has taken several years of hard work by many cycling groups and other stakeholders including Love Cycling Singapore to convince the government that this is the way forward. Kudos to everyone of them in making this paradigm shift a reality and it is excellent that Singapore has a government that is responsive.

Singapore is certainly on the ride track like many other cycle friendly cities of the world. Though she took a longer time to get here, it is always better late than never.

Pic by my buddy Matt Chia


You can read the online version of this article in the Straits Time here.

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