Welcome to A Better Ride.

The main thing here is a survey on having bike lanes in Singapore. The survey has closed already, but you canย click here to read the report. Or click here for an article I wrote for Red Sports – enjoy!

32 Responses to “Hello”

  1. Pak Says:

    your survey trumps mine.

  2. lijing Says:

    Um on the question:

    ‘Suppose that due to increasing pressure on the transport system, road tax has to be increased. How much more road tax per year would you pay before you would change your mode of transport?’

    What if I might change to a car with a smaller engine capacity but not to a different mode of transport?

    1. zing Says:

      Hey Lijing,
      That’s a partial solution but one can only change to so small a car – I think 600cc is the minimum to get a machine moving – so there’s a limit to how much you could save by changing cars. Presumably that limit (the difference between road tax for your present car and that for a smallest car) is the minimum increase in road tax you would be willing to pay in order to keep driving… makes any sense? – zing ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Wei Lynn Says:

    Babe..believe me i tried. when we visited MOT on FC I kinda cornered the DS to opine abt the necessity of bike lanes in singapore. he agreed on a lot of points but also had lots to say back. don’t think it made any sort of a difference though. maybe your dissertation could form a basis for a policy paper, if so i would fully support it. would love to chat more when you get back ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. zing Says:

      Hey Weilynn,
      Good to hear from you. I’d be interested in what the DS had to say in reply… remember any of it? To be fair they (MOT, LTA) are ploughing a lot of effort into the public transport system, which is sensible on many fronts. But it’s not quite like being able to cycle around is it. Yes, am hoping to gather enough responses to make a policy paper of it, so please pass it round to your colleagues and who not, thank you lots ๐Ÿ™‚ Should be back October or so, definitely meet up! – zing ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Wei Lynn Says:

        well he said stuff like:

        1. the weather really doesn’t make it feasible. its HOT. most workplaces don’t have shower facilities and are unlikely to build them. s’poreans also unlikely to want to start biking to work enough to bring abt any sort of pressure on work places to shower facilities.

        2. s’pore has limited land.. bike lanes will have to come at the expense of car/bus/lorry/truck space. it is a cost-benefit issue re how many ppl will actually use the bike lanes as opposed to the no. of ppl that can use the same space on a bus, or trucks etc which would contribute more utility to our economy than people on bikes (something like that)

        3. everybody wants a car now. Cars are one of the 5Cs, part of the s’pore dream. despite regulation etc it’d be hard to dissuade people from getting their own vehicles if they so wish to. the traffic conditions must get really bad or public transport so rubbish that ppl would want to start biking ard (which incidentally was the reason I started biking ard london in the 1st place)

        4. s’porean drivers don’t ‘think bike!’ would be pretty dangerous cycling on the expressways. this is one of the reasons i am banned by dad from cycling ard in s’pore

        . . . . .
        will post more when/if i remember more of what he said.

        on a positive note, i notice quite alot more cyclists on the roads in s’pore now. not just recreational-sunday cyclists..but people cycling to work in the mornings. at first mostly ang mohs but this week i saw 2 s’porean cyclists and it made me happy!

  4. O L Chua-Gumpert Says:

    Better and more bike lanes are a necessity- my sons formed a bike group but it has disbanded due to two accidents – one of them fell on his back as a car scrapped his bike and another fell on his hands and arms due to a driver who drove too close to him causing him to loose his balance.
    Also, more children cd go to school on bikes that is within a 1 or 1/2km distance instead of being driven there by bus or car.It would also be good exercise (no need for ‘fat’ programmes in school)and they learn independence.

    1. zing Says:

      Hi Oi Leng,
      Sorry to hear about those unfortunate encounters. Some drivers really have no idea how dangerous it is if a cyclist accidentally clips the kerb with a pedal. Here in London there’s generally more awareness and respect from drivers, but with a few you just have to keep going dead straight without wobbling because they assume you will – and it all works out by inches. Not good for blood pressure. Hope they manage to get a group up and riding again somehow.
      Agreed on how cycling would benefit kids too – another reason to have a system that makes it safe for all!

    2. Sting Says:

      Hey zing,

      what sort of vehicle do you drive?

      I drive a car and have had some brushes with lorries who drive inches of me and I am having problems driving straight without wobbling.

  5. D Says:

    the main problem is that a lot of our roads are not wide enough.

    the solution can then be a) to severely restrict traffic in certain areas e.g. the CBD so that a narrower thoroughfare can be provided for motor vehicles and some space can be given for bicycles or b) invest heavily on road-widening for certain bike-popular roads. neither are particularly popular policies as i’m sure you will understand once you get to the middle-aged, middle-class stage that i am at ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. zing Says:

      Hi D,

      Yes I can see how neither idea would be popular, even though I’m not yet middle-aged/class (hey that stuff is all in the mind right? :)).

      Just thinking aloud, I’m trying to figure out how closely tied education and infrastructure are, when it comes to providing for cyclists and the safety and convenience of all road users. Education is probably better value for money in some ways, but you could argue that attitudes towards cyclists might not change if lack of infrastructure means that they continue to bother drivers (e.g. by clogging the left lane). On the other hand, lots of nice bike lanes won’t be any use of drivers don’t respect them.

      The solution seems to be approach on both fronts, but that costs lots of money and commitment. Hmm.

  6. Juerg Says:

    I have come off my bike on my own and needed operation and physio. The first time in over 50 years that I had a major issue desptie doing much sport. I am biking most days from the east coast to the office and back and so far I got to say the only mad drivers I meet in the city center – it looks like the finance guys just are a little bit stressed out. The bus drivers are most polite and give me plenty of space. Instead of getting upset the focus should be on health – Singaporeans are giving up biking and do not know how to ride a bike – so once they drive a car, they do not know neither. They rather join the gym. Targeting the heatly life style and getting people back on a bike will mean we will more say and will get more space – cheers juerg

    1. zing Says:

      Hi Juerg,

      Ouch – how did that happen?

      Glad to know you find cycling mostly ok, and hooray for the nice bus drivers. I agree that Singapore seems to be a bit of an ‘air-con exercise’ nation, and that cycling can certainly be promoted in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle. It also helps if drivers have cycled before, so they understand cyclists a bit better. I guess cycling appeals to different people for different reasons, be that health, environment, cost-saving, freedom… the list goes on. But yes, a good bike will last longer than the equivalent payment for gym membership or petrol!

  7. Muddy Says:

    Cheers to cycling as a mode of transportation! I stopped cycling around a few years back cos it got too dangerous; some drivers don’t respect a bicycle’s space on the road. But i drive too, and on the road i’ve seen many cyclists thwart our attempts to show that we are responsible road users too. (albeit non-road tax paying ones) For instance, dashing red lights, cutting 4 lanes across an expressway and even road hogging, where 2 or more ride side-by-side. Hope to start cycling again soon; more public education and common sense would help. For a start i think it’ll be good to spell out all the traffic rules pertaining to cyclsits clearly.

    1. zing Says:

      Hi Muddy,

      It’s a pity you stopped cycling – my parents also say I shouldn’t try sacrifice myself to prove a futile point!

      You’re definitely right about inconsiderate cyclists who don’t do other cyclists a favour. Making cycling a more recognised and organised form of transport would hopefully change that a lot. It’s a chicken-and-egg situation though, as it doesn’t seem worthwhile to get cycling organised because there aren’t many cyclists, but there also aren’t many cyclists because things aren’t organised enough.

      Thanks for the support and hope to see you on the road soon (on 2 wheels, not 4)!

    2. Sting Says:

      Would you go back to cycling if say there were a road tax on cyclists and they were given the rights over the left (slowest) lane. This means all vehicles including public buses and heavy vehicles must! give way to cyclists on the left lane.

  8. twong Says:

    I like cycling for recreation and commuting short distances in our tropical climate.
    But I am also aware there will be a need to provide cycle lanes( and cycle parking lots) in congested city streets, besides bus lanes and pedestrian walks,.

    The danger of cyclists encroaching on pedestrian walks to cause injury needs to be anticipated by building cycle lanes that prevent lane jumping.

    If this can be done and there is space to do it, then cycling can be provided for in crowded urban streets.

    As a start, pilot this transport mode within HDB housing estates where population desity is high or in private landed residential estates. Expect confliicts between walkers and cyclists.

    1. zing Says:

      Hi T,

      I agree that cyclists should be kept separate from pedestrians as far as possible; in fact I think cyclists should be kept on roads (and drivers should respect this right) where they would they their own safety much more seriously than that of pedestrians if they were on pavements.

      And yes there is a big challenge of space in downtown areas, maybe even central areas in HDB towns during rush hour and some weekends (e.g. MRT stations and their attendant shopping malls). It is probably cheaper to try educate all roads users suitably than try expand our roads/pavements, but changing behaviour is a long and slow process.

      Do you know about the pavement-sharing trial in Tampines? The jury is still out on that – there have been conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists, but some are more optimistic about encouraging mutually gracious behaviour. I can point you to more information on that if you’d like.

  9. hzx Says:

    by time meant walking you mean like walking home right? cos walking around in school and stuff >_>

    1. zing Says:

      Hi there, yup walking from classroom to canteen doesn’t exactly count, even if schools are getting really tall/big nowadays! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Sybil Foo Says:

    I was recently involved in a hit and run accident while cycling. The police have not been of much help, due to the absence of witness. Your survey means alot to me, and to alot of enthusiastic cyclists out there who seek a safer environment to ride.

    1. zing Says:

      Hi Sybil, sorry to hear about your unfortunate encounter – with the car and with the police! Hope you’re well on the road to recovery now. Thanks for the encouragement, will try my best with pushing this issue through to policy relevance, and hopefully nobody else will have to go through the same experience you did.

  11. XJ Says:

    Thumbs up dude..

  12. jOoLz Says:

    Hey, I am getting friends and my fiance to take the survey. We really look forward to the day when we can cycle without being forced onto the curb by cars and buses.

    Getting reckless drivers who do not check before there make a right turn and almost getting run over by a cab behind me. No one bothered to get out of their cars to check if I was all right. Only lots of horns blaring at me to get up while I was bleeding from my knees. Ended up having to limp to the nearest bike shop to fix up my bent rear wheel.

    Good luck as we patiently await to a safer cycling experience while doing our small part to reduce air pollution! By the way regards to one of the ‘arguments’ shared in an earlier comment about how the weather being too hot in SG. It’s only so hot because the roads are jammed packed with vehicles that adds on to the heatwave effects!! I’ve cycled to some parts of SG where the roads are quieter and MUCH COOLER! Why? All because there are lesser cars!!

    1. zing Says:

      Hey Julyan, sorry to hear about your accident – Singaporean drivers can be amazing, in a bad way! Hope your knees and bike recovered quickly. Maybe I should start a ‘cyclists complaints bureau’ blog…

      Completely agree with you on the heatwave effect of roads – it’s not just the vehicle engines but the tarmac surface being flat and black, and the lack of shade since NParks has to minimise ‘tree litter’ on roads.

      Of course we can’t change the humidity, but hopefully we can change mindsets and habits – slowly!

  13. yati Says:

    Hi, im studying in Melbourne currently and loving the biking culture here. Other cyclist saying hello to you while riding past, cars slowing down and giving me at least 1meter away from them. One main issue I can recall from Singapore is the sudden stopping of the cab drivers who will ‘jump’ in front of the cyclist to pick up the potential customer thereby putting the cyclist at risk!

    But when I came back, it’s good to find that the pathway at Lakeside are made into slopes rather than steps on the kerbs, if you get what I mean, so that its bike-friendly (I just found out now that it’s illegal to ride on those pathways). I thought that the authorities are doing something about it, but it’s still the courtesy of the drivers that need to be enhanced and of course, biking culture.

    1. zing Says:

      Hi Yati, always good to hear from fellow enthusiasts ๐Ÿ™‚ On the whole I’ve had good experiences in the UK that parallel yours in Melbourne, though London can be nasty. It’s not just Singaporean cab drivers who underestimate the travel speed of cyclists!

      Good to hear about the paths at Lakeside – as you said they’re not meant for cycling, but good to make things more disabled-friendly! As far as I know, the authorities are doing something about cycling, just rather slowly, and the town councils seem to be doing more than the LTA, so it’s quite a bottom-up movement.

      Do you live in Taman Jurong? The town council there apparently appealed to the LTA for bike lanes to be put on the two main roads in the area as they are wide enough to repaint… keep fingers crossed! If it works out well this may be taken as a positive model for other areas.

      Transport habits (gracious driving, biking culture) will no doubt take longer to change but we can always try. Each time I’m home from the UK I see marginally more cyclists on the roads so that’s a start!

  14. Joelrizal Says:

    Hi everyone. I drive a car to and from work every day along changi village to changi coast road. Just like to share an experience I had with a cyclist this morning. I was driving along changi village on the left lane and signalled right to switch lanes. As soon as the last
    vehicle on the right lane past by I started to filter right. I jammed on my brakes immediately when I saw a cyclist trailing to the right of the said vehicle. He wobbled on his ride as he was as surprised as I was. I did not sound the horn on him as this would have made him even more disoriented on his bike. He continued to cycle and only stopped at the age of the traffic light presumably wanting to make a right turn. Just as I was about the wave my hand to see ifhe was ok, he stuck out and showed me his middle finger. I shook my head at him and drove off. I’m a bit puzzled by this show of attitude. If I had no jammed on my brakes, I would definitely have hit him. What was he doing on the right lane trailing to the right of another vehicle on the same lane. Drivers have blind spots when they are driving. This is one example. I belief local residents are more familiar with the road conditions here. Being a caucasian foreigner, this unnamed cyclist may be putting himself in danger if he does not follow the legislated road laws for cyclist here. I was a cyclist myself in my youthful days. That’s how I know what it feels like riding a cycle on the road. But being a driver today, I feel cyclist today have to reinforce their road safety awareness and put themselves in the shoes of drivers so as to be more wary of how drivers see them on the road to prevent any accidents. And lastly, to the Ang Moh who showed me the middle finger…pls do not trail to the right of a moving vehicle on the right lane when turning right. It may cause you your life. Most drivers won’t be able to see you. And thanks for the middle finger…that really made my day…

  15. warrior Says:

    Now that electric bicycles are common, it may be worthwhile to examine this type of transport. The issue about hot and humid weather would be less of an issue.

    1. jeffrey tan Says:

      Pedestrian-senior citizen
      I note with surprise the cry and hue raised by the cyclists currently and I can well undertsand their plight. However, the cyclists who are using the pedestrian walkways are just as guilty as the motorists and they will just speed and zipping in between the people walking with no concern for their safetly. Most of them do not have a bell to warn the pedestrians. I , myself, had been knocked a few times and inspite of my several complaints to my MP in Bukit Timah, no action was taken. I have met 2 such cyclists and confronted them and they even dared me to complain to the police.While cycling is healthy sport but they themselves must also show concern for the pedestrians when using the walkway which mostly are narrow.I have known 1 case where a student was knocked and fell into the drain having bruises on his face. So what have the cyclists to say??. I hope by this comment here the cyclists can show concern for the pedestrians when using the walkways so that both pedestrians and cyclists can benefit.

  16. Robert Says:

    For goodness sake people, most car vs bike accidents happen because car driver cant see you. Get hi-vis, not just white or yellow but fluro, big, bright, bold – who cares if not fashion better to go home to family looking ordinary then go hospital in ambulance.
    Recent study by Monash uni, (in Aus many cyclists now wear fluro – now being built into cycle shirts but not avail in Singapore yet because not considered fashion enough for shop to stock) 40% of people in accidents wearing black/blue/grey shirts (even proper cycle shirts with text on), 21% were wearing white.
    Only 2% of accidents happened to cyclist wearing fluro.
    Do yourselves (and car drivers) a huge safety favour, throw away all dark color shirts and get fluro now.
    Day and night huge increase in safety much more then even putting lights.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s