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AMK cycling town phase 1 + Round island Route

July 9, 2016 Singapore

Singapore is one more step closer to become a bicycle friendly city. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced two important cycling infrastructure that will make cycling in Singapore easier, safer and more enjoyable:

Artist impression of Round Island Route  Photo: NPark

Artist impression of Round Island Route Photo: NPark

Short video showing the RIR (Source: NPark)

1. Round Island Route (ST news)

In the early Saturday morning, PM Lee planted a tree at the Sengkang Riverside Park, commemorating the start of phase one of the Round Island Route (RIR), an idea conceptualised in 2011. Construction work on the first 60km of a 150km continuous green trail that will go around Singapore will start at the end of the year. This is an ambitious project to enhance connectivity and create new recreational spaces for cyclists and park goers all around Singapore.

2. AMK model cycling town (ST news)


Some of the innovative features to increase the safety of all users. Video: URA

A slip road was removed at the junction of Ang Mo Kio Avenues 1 and 3 to make way for a cycling path. PHOTO: LTA

A slip road was removed at the junction of Ang Mo Kio Avenues 1 and 3 to make way for a cycling path. PHOTO: LTA

Later in the morning, after riding through a new 4km “red-carpet” cycling path, PM Lee announced the completion of the first phase of AMK Cycling town network. This officially initiated the transformation of Ang Mo Kio into a model cycling and walking town. Estimated by 2019, a total of 20km of cycling paths will be completed to connect to most parts of AMK town. Innovative ideas including the distinctive red-colour paths, safer crossing and elevated share path under the MRT viaduct are to be piloted in AMK. If all are good, future cycling town will adopt the innovative ideas.

Perhaps more important is to see the number of senior level politicians and government agents (URA, LTA, NPark, HDB, Finance) who are actively involved on stage or behind the scene. This is a clear sign showing that there is strong alignment within the government to realise the car-lite vision.

Facebook post by PM Lee Hsien Loong.
Facebook post by LTA
Facebook post about RIR in LoveCyclingSG
Facebook post about AMK cycling town in LoveCyclingSG

AMK new cycling town phase one getting ready for use

AMK cycling path (image: URA)

AMK cycling path (image: URA)

At the end of 2014, during the “Clean and Green Singapore 2015” event, PM Lee announced that he will take up the challenge to turn Ang Mo Kio into the “next generation cycling town with innovative infrastructure” to facilitate more people to use bicycle as a mode of transport. True enough, we visited the first phase of the cycling network and it is indeed a big improvement over the previous standard from Tampines.

Some of the significant improvements:

  • cycling paths are all in a distinctive reddish color, make it clear which is supposed to be the cycling path.
  • The path stop before area with high pedestrian traffic, such as bus stop, or road crossing, signal that cyclist should slow down and check for safety before proceeding.
  • Hump up road crossing at minor road junctions helps to slow down the cars before the crossing, makes it much easier for all road users to look out for each other before entering the crossing.

More details of the AMK cycling town in the the news.

Discussion on FaceBook about the news.

 

DIY Aero Ride

The idea of Aero-Ride is inspired by Aeolian Ride (details in the video). We keep the original elements of fun, love of biking,  a sense of humour, silliness. Now instead of using white fabric, we re-use waste plastic bags to construct the inflatable costume. It turns out that the thin plastic material is easier to inflate and has many possibilities to create many different shapes.

Below is a step by step illustration to show how to construct a simple Aero.

Aero-DIY-1

Get a used plastic bag with a width larger than your shoulder.

Aero-DIY-2

Chop off the handles

Aero-DIY-3

expand and flatten the bag

Aero-DIY-4

mark out two holes (shaded area) with at least 10 cm wider than the shoulder of your T-shirt

Aero-DIY-5

cut out the holes

Aero-DIY-6

use a tape to reinforce the holes, so that it won’t be teared apart easily

Aero-DIY-7

both holes applied reinforcement tapes

Aero-DIY-8

roll up the edge. use tapes to keep the rolled edge.

Aero-DIY-9

reverse the plastic bag, stick the centre to top of a cap.

Aero-DIY-10

test the effect using a fan

Aero-DIY-11

congrats, you’ve made your own Aero. You are ready for Aero Ride!

Here is a short video showing our test ride

 

Launch of Safe Riders Campaign in Car Free Day

There are many activities suitable for everyone from young to old. You will see the Civic area as well as part of CBD transformed into a fun area, totally different from a normal day filled with cars.

You can choose to cycle, run, or walk along the large CBD loop from 7-10am, or the shorter Civic loop from 7-12 noon. Fitness lover can join the fitness party or outdoor yoga at Empress Lawn.

Kids can have lots of funs to play football at Connaught Drive, join a fun race or play frisbee in Esplanade park.

There are also a range of cultural activities and performance offer by the National Gallery as well various groups including a number of walking trails. For details please download this pdf file _CarFreeDay activities 2016-04-24

Road closure plan, Red: Civic loop, Blue: CBD loopRoad closure plan, Red: Civic loop, Blue: CBD loop

Active Mobility Advisory Panel announced Rules and Code of Conduct

New rules and code of conduct for bicycle and PMD uses

New rules and code of conduct for bicycle and PMD uses

Mar 17th, 2016, Singapore: The Active Mobility Advisory Panel submitted its proposed rules and code of conduct for the safe use of footpaths, cycling paths and shared paths to the Transport Ministry. This is seen as a significant step towards the Car-Lite vision of the Singapore government.

Currently there are 300 km of “cycle-able” PCN and cycling paths in Singapore. This is great for recreation but not sufficient for daily trips to work, to school or to the markets. Cyclists, especially the slower riders, are faced with two difficult choices: to risk their life by cycling on roads mixing with fast moving cars, or ride on the foot paths illegally. The proposal from the 14-members panel legalise cycling on pavement, effectively unlocking the potential of 3300 km of foot paths along all the roads. However, for this to work, safety of pedestrian must be addressed. The sets of rules and code of conduct is targeted to ensure safety for all.

The key rules are:

  • Speed limits of 15km/h (running or leisurely cycling speed) on footpaths, and 25km/h (normal cycling speed) on shared paths and cycling paths
  • Devices must be equipped with lights visible from the front and back, which must be switched on during hours of darkness
  • Cycling maximum two abreast is allowed on all roads with at least two lanes in that direction, except those with bus lanes during the bus lane operational hours
  • No cycling against the flow of traffic on roads

The key guidelines in the code of conduct are:

  • Always give way to pedestrians on footpaths and shared paths. Remember also that pedestrians have the right of way on pedestrian crossings
  • Slow down and be prepared to stop when approaching high pedestrian-traffic areas such as bus-stops
  • Either ‘walk your bicycle’ or dismount and push at high pedestrian-traffic areas
  • Stop and look out for on-coming traffic when approaching pedestrian crossings, and cross only at walking speed
  • Always stop to render assistance and exchange particulars when involved in an accident

There are also key criteria for Personal Mobility Devices as following:

Max. Weight = 20kg, Max width = 700mm, Max. speed=25 km/h

In addition, the guideline also specified which device are allowed in what type of paths:

Foot paths: Bicycle and PMDs

Share path/ PCN: Bicycle, PMDs, eBike

On road: Bicycle, eBike

Active Mobility Advisory Panel

Active Mobility Advisory Panel

More news at LTACNA, StraitsTimes

Full report of recommendation 

 

 

 

First Car Free day in Singapore

Cheers to the first Car Free Day in Singapore- in LovecyclingSG style!

Cheers to the first Car Free Day in Singapore- in LovecyclingSG style!

Video credit: Joeel Lee, one of our “Angels” from LoveCycingSG

In 2014, Car Free Day in Singapore was a dream, and last Sunday the dream finally comes true!
On October 3rd, 2014, URA team bring along key members of LTA, SLA, SDCF and Mr. Peter Ong, the Head of Civil Service, to study how the KL Car Free Day is organized. Last Sunday, March 28th, 2016, we had the first Car-Free Day in Singapore, and it was a great success!

What is “Car Free Day”? here is a short description from URA:

Car-Free Sunday SG turns part of our city into a pedestrian and cyclist friendly precinct and creates a 4.7 km route of closed roads in the heart of the city. It is part of the larger movement towards a car-lite Singapore, envisioning our city with fewer cars.

The trial will kick off with an exciting lineup of activities on 28 February.  It will continue take place on the last Sunday of the month for a six month trial period.

more on URA site

URA flag-off

Second flag off for “Ride-To-Car-Free” folks by CEO of URA  Photo credit: Joeel Lee

LoveCyclingSG supported the Car Free Day by organising four concurrent events. One of the groups joint the flag off at 7am in front of the National Gallery, which includes families with kids and “pets lovers”, all on bicycles. The other three groups starting three “Ride-to-Car-Free” concurrently at 7am from the East (Kembangan MRT), the North (Bishan Park) and West (Clementi MRT). These three groups were led by our veteran, or “LCSG Angels”. It was a great opportunity for inexperience riders to follow the leads and test out the route from heartlands to CBD. The responses were overwhelming. Both East (led by George and Berenda with ) and West (Led by Andy and Stanley) group had close to 100 pax and the largest group was the North (led by Clarence,  Desmond and Kenneth with PNRs) which was 130+ riders.

All together it was estimated we have a total of 400+ participant from LoveCyclingSG. It was the biggest event we have mobilised so far.

Apart from cycling, there were many interesting programs running at the same time, walking, jogging, running, skating, and even mass Yoga. Kevin from National Gallery helps to arrange valet parking for our bicycle at the basement car park, so that the riders can join other events without worry about their bicycles. Typically very quiet on a Sunday morning, the whole CBD area has been transformed from into a caravel and fun playground for thousands of participants.

Programming of the Car Free Day

 

Video credit: Sport Singapore

Related news LoveCyclingSG for Car Free Day:

Channel News Asia
Channel8
URA news

 

Pedestrian First Cyclist Pledge

pedestrian-first

Cyclists on PCN/Pavement should not be defined by the few inconsiderate cyclists who are reckless, inconsiderate and the cause of some accidents. The majority of the cyclists are ALSO pedestrians and we care deeply about the safety of all users, especially the vulnerable young and elderly.

We want to express our commitment to Pedestrian Safety and gratitude for sharing the PCN/Pavement with cyclist. We are responsible, considerate, caring and safety conscious cyclists who will put the Pedestrian Safety First. We want to show that we can use positive role models, social and peer pressure to encourage the right mind set and behaviour to promote safety for all, without additional government intervention, regulation, bicycle licensing or penalties.

Cyclists, if you are like the majority of us, willing to show our commitment, take the first step to Pledge to be a Pedestrian First Cyclist:

1. I am a Pedestrian First Cyclist, always putting their safety first, especially for the vulnerable children & elderly.

2. am always mindful of potential risk so that I can take early defensive actions, including slowing down, to unexpected situations.

3. I have the patience & skill to ride slowly behind pedestrian at walking speed, and willingness to dismount, if necessary, for safety.

Sign the pledge at

https://www.change.org/p/pledge-to-be-pedestrian-first-cyclist

I believe with more cyclists having the above mindset and attitude, accidents will be reduced and safety on PCN/Pavement will be improved. We will also have a more harmonious sharing of the pathways.

Do help to spread the word and strongly encourage your safety conscious fellow cyclists to do the Pledge. The more cyclists Pledge, the more credible is our commitment to the pedestrians.

Pedestrians, if you like to see more responsible, considerate, caring and safety conscious cyclist who puts pedestrians first, please like the page and share to all your friends and groups. Please encourage your cycling friends to Pledge and commit to it.

a ground up initiation by Tan Wee Yeow

Should cyclists follow all the traffic rules?

Should cyclists follow all the traffic rules?

The answer seems to be obvious, however, the German Chancellor Merkel gave an unexpected, yet inspiring answer:

“Cyclists do have their own interpretation of traffic rules. But we are not pushing hard for obeying the rules, but for better and more bike paths and as far as helmets go for cyclist, we focus on the voluntary usage and not bringing in laws for that.”

Bicycle as a mode of transport is not new, it exist way before the creation of “traffic rules”. Traffic rules were created after the introduction of motor cars, which imposed unprecedented risks to other road users. You may consider “traffic rules” are essentially “motorist’s rules” and must be obeyed by all motorists for the safety of other road users. However, it is not realistic, nor fair to require a human power mode of transport to follow 100% of the “motorist’s rules” even if it means it will sometimes put the cyclist in risk.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel checking a road bike

I’m not advocating cyclists to break the traffic rules. The fundamental principle should be safety. Do what is safe. Follow the traffic rules as much as possible. But, do not follow the rules blindly and put yourself in a dangerous position. Some of these “rules” are in fact perceived and not official. Here a few typical, but exceptional examples that bicycle users may “break the rules” for safety concern:

1) Riding on footpath – if the road is full of fast moving cars, it is potentially deadly for slow riders such as the uncles and aunties going to markets. In this case, I would be using the footpath instead. Anyone insist that cyclists must always be on the road I will challenge them to ride slowly along Lornie Road.

2) Not staying at the extreme left of the left most lane, but shifting to the centre of the lane – Before riding across a road junction, or approaching a slip road, it is often safer for the cyclist to shift his/her position from left of the lane towards the centre of the lane. This is for two purpose: a) signal to the driver behind that you want to go straight, not turning left. 2) prevent driver from last moment overtaking and cutting in front to turn left.

3) Move from left most lane to second or third lanes – before some junction with one or more left turning lanes, you need to position yourself out of the left turning lanes if you need to go straight.

4) Riding on the bus lane – it is actually legal to riding on Bus lane, but many drivers and cyclists are not aware of this and become confused. It should be possible to put a bicycle sign on Bus lane, and it will be more clear for every body that bicycle are supposed to be on the Bus Lanes.

5) Riding across zebra crossing or pedestrian crossing – again, there is no explicit law states that it is not allowed to cycle across a pedestrian crossing. But you need to do so in a safe manner, for your own safety and other pedestrian’s safety. Never rush across a crossing regardless you are cycling or running.

6) Not wearing helmet –  there is no law in Singapore states that one must wear a helmet in order to ride a bicycle. It is a personal choice.

It is particularly interesting that, such “un-ruling” comment is coming from a German Chancellor, since Germany is well know to be a rule based society. Angela Merkel clearly understand that it is not useful to force the traffic rules, which are primarily created to control motorists for the safety of others, onto the group of cyclists, which does not imposed the same level of risk to other users. Instead she put focus to improve the infrastructure such as bike paths so that everyone will be more safe regardless of the rules.

What is your view? Please put your comment below.

Source: http://www.bike-eu.com/Shows-Events/Show-reviews/2013/8/Angela-Merkel-Steals-the-Show-at-Eurobike-Opening-1347196W/