Cycling To Get Around

20120216_111557I’m intrigued by the question that Minister Khaw Boon Wan recently posed: “The real test is will Singaporeans cycle to work?” How serious is the Government looking into facilitating cycling as a mode of transportation, and how are they going to go about doing it? Cycling is a fun recreation sport. However, it’s not the same thing as cycling to work on a regular basis.

Given the climate in Singapore and the work environment, I didn’t seriously think that cycling to work would make a lot of sense, in general, for most people. Of course, there will be pockets of people who disagree. Even strenuously disagree.

There are logistics that need to be catered for. E.g. parking facilities, changing and bathing facilities, etc. There are business concerns like if employees will come to work fully energised and be productive. Or be on time at all.

Then, if there were an onslaught of cyclists on our regular transportation infrastructure, would the efficiency of the other forms of transportation be affected? Would there be a net loss or net increase in transportation efficiency for the whole country?

Mr Khaw talks about building park connectors and dedicated cycling lanes in new towns. It’s much easier to cater to cycling needs in new developments. The big question is how this will reach into existing developments.

On another note, sometimes I wonder if some people here should be allowed to cycle at all. Everyday I meet cyclists who blatantly flout the law, and endanger other road users. Of course, if there were dedicated cycling paths, they wouldn’t endanger pedestrians or drivers. But they would still endanger other cyclists, and that’s assuming they actually use the dedicated cycling paths at all.

We’ve been warned, last week, about the possibility of 6.9 million residents in Singapore in 2030. All that extra people will have to get around places. It is going to put a lot of strain on our transportation infrastructure. I don’t see cycling as a real solution.