Cycling as a commute requires a bold move that is connected to something bigger. Not a half-baked patched-up idea in piecemeal dressed up with lots of PR, writes blog visitor Islandjoe.
I don’t see why a proper bike lane needs to share with motorcyclists. That is pointless. It is not the case in Europe. The reason bicycles need a dedicated lane is due to the speed at which they travel. Motorbikes have the capacity to travel at the speed of motorcars so if more likely to be in tune with the traffic flow. The biggest danger to bicycles is that even at 60km/h speed limits, bikes are much slower and become a hindrance to the traffic flow and consequently a big hazard.
But I certainly agree on the point of defensive cycling, regardless of the existence of a dedicated cycling lane not.
On the point that the MPPP engineers have voiced out that it should be proven that we have enough cyclists BEFORE putting dedicated bicycle lanes is totally ludicrous. That is why engineer are engineers and leaders should have LEADERSHIP. Asking these council engineers to have any sort of vision is obviously a waste of time judging from their response. They are at best implementers but seeing the current condition of our streets (poor lane planning, potholes, haphazard street markings, faded street markings), they are not even good implementers.
On the point of asking cyclists to zig zag around back streets, that is also far from a solution. You can’t effectively commute across the island on back streets.
All these points raised so far show how we as a community don’t get it. This cycling as a commute requires a bold move that is connected to something bigger. Not a half baked patched up idea in piecemeal dressed up with lots of PR. Right now this is what it sounds like. When you hear the voices from those around the government and council, you can read between the lines that they don’t have the passion nor the endeavour to make it work.
I would suggest the following for the state government. Don’t bother with an island wide dedicated bicycle lanes. Go with a small pilot project which can suit the timid small-idea team (work with what you’ve got).
Put one that say connects the Queensbay area along the Lim Chong Eu Expressway with Georgetown (I understand a developer was going to do a partial one). And if possible, connect Sunshine Sq area to Queensbay. Even from Queensbay to the FTZ which isn’t far. Make sure its done properly and captures some of these residential areas (properly marked, properly maintained, with proper classy signage). If it looks like the East Coast route like in Singapore (but without pedestrian traffic as its dangerous to share the lane with bikes), people will certainly use it for recreation as a start with some hardcore cyclists at the beginning using it to commute to work sometimes. As for using it to commute for the masses, that will depend on workplaces having shower or changing facilities for it to make sense. Plus have safe bike parking facilities. So the council will need to find a way to encourage workplaces to get on board – starting with government buildings, factories, and the larger corporations, then working their way down.
So we can see that even on a limited basis, there is a lot to be done. But if they can make it work, they have a basis to expand. If not, then there is a good recreational safe cycling track that covers a decent route. If they want to have a bikeshare programme, then there is enough to connect some residential areas with the FTZ and town.