Human Ride Singapore Chapter (Thai PBS)

Thai PBS TV run a series program relates to bicycle trends called Human Ride.
Here is a collection about Singapore bicycle trends:

Bicycle Culture
LoveCyclingSG, TreeIn Lodge,

Bicycle business
Wheeler’s Yard, Coast Cycle, Bamboo Bee

PCN and rides


Advanced highway code for driver – how to treat cyclists

Thanks to Hannes Hentze who manage to obtain the reproduction right from MightyMinds Publishing Pte Ltd for the section on Cyclists (Pages 142 to 144) of the Advanced Theory Book (4th Edition). You can go ahead to read the code in it’s full glory. I am pleasantly surprised of it’s existent because if all drivers do follows the highways code relates to cycling, there should be a lots less “accident” between cars and cyclists.

New Highway code section about safety for cyclist

New Highway Code about cycling

The full text is here for ease of sharing :

Source: The New Highway Code Book 2, Advanced Theory of Driving, (Published in consultation with Traffic management, Land Transport Authority)

Cyclist ride on all types of roads excepts expressways. Bicycles are used for both transportation and recreation by people of all ages and sizes; you should expect to find them almost anywhere. Because they rode close to traffic, cyclists are vulnerable to injury in a collision. As a driver, it is your special responsibility to pay attention to them and to provide for their safety.

1. When sharing the road with cyclists, expect sudden moves on their part at all times. A patch of oil, a pothole, an opening door of a parked car and other hazards can force a cyclist to swerve suddenly into your path.

2. When approaching or passing a cyclist, give him/her ample space and be extra alert. Be prepared to slow down or stop. When a cyclist glances back, it is an indication that he/she may change direction anytime.

3. Look out for cyclists riding against the flow of traffic especially at residential areas.

4. Give even more room to cyclists when they are carrying a heavy weight or a pillion. This makes them unsteady and wobbly and they may ride into your path or even hit the side of your vehicle.

5. Just before turning:
i: Check your mirrors and blind spots.
ii. Watch out for cyclists between your vehicle and the kerb.
iii. Don’t make a sudden sharp turn, you may knock down a cyclist.

6. When overtaking, keep a safe gap between your vehicle and the cyclist. Don’t cut in sharply after overtaking the cyclist. This could result in your vehicle “side brushing” or hitting the cyclist.

7. After parking, look out for cyclists coming up from behind before opening your vehicle door.

Errant cyclist on the rise ?


The number of traffic offences committed by bicycle users went up by 17.5% from 2012 to 2013. Some said that it is due to the increase number of cyclists. Some said it is due to the attitude of bicycle users. Yet some said it is due to the lack of proper infrastructure for bicycle users. The truth probably is a mixture of all the above factors. On further enquiry, the types of violation committed by errant cyclists are typically the following:

1) Riding on pavement
2) Running red light
3) Endangering pedestrians

There were 1455 traffic violation committed by cyclists in 2013. No one was killed due to these offences.

In comparison, motorist committed 252 times more traffic violation in 2013, including the followings:

1) Speeding 260,512 (in 2013)
2) Running red light
3) Careless driving

All together there were 367,496 traffic violation committed by motorists in 2013. 159 persons were killed which included 43 pedestrians.

These information is available from the Traffic Police site:   [Publications] > [Annual Traffic Statistics]

As quote from the TP site, for these violations committed by motorists:

“every traffic violation can potentially result in a fatal or injury accident and the loss of lives.”

When I’m looking through this striking comparison, it occurs to me that there are 250 times more offences committed by motoring and each of these offences has at least 10x higher potential to kill or to cause serious injuries. Shouldn’t we put 2500 times more attention and effort to reduce the bigger, more dangerous offences?

Traffic Police statistics:
Channel News Asia report:

Bike lanes in Singapore, Ya or Nay?

STA survey about Bike Lanes

STA survey about Bike Lanes

I was surprised to see my Photoshopped photo appear on the Facebook page of STA. I’m even more delighted to learn that they are conducting a survey to get public views about bicycle lanes on Singapore roads.
Here is the question they posted:

Bicycle lanes in Singapore, Ya or Nay? Motorist seems to have a very negative view on cyclists on the road why is that so? Share your view with us?

3 lucky comments will be selected to win a mystery prize each. Entries close on Friday, 13/2/2015, 12 pm.

However, the most enlightening part are the views expressed by many people, and supported by the most “Likes” for example:

Woon Taiwoon: Cycling can help reduce traffic jam. If you look around you when u drive, how many cars are vacant with only drivers. Imagine when 10 percent of the car drivers convert to cycling. Thats alot of cars OUT OFF the roads.

Now I know cycling as a form of commuting might sound crazy but it is really possible. If there are bike lanes, I am very sure many will chose this eco friendly and happier alternative.

Joanna Peck: personally, I think an excellent first step would be to show on the bus lanes that bicycles are allowed there. This would take minimal effort on the part of authorities to implement.

for the future, I’d love to see a cycling lane network established in Singapore. Where people can cycle from place to place with ease instead of navigating a hodgepodge mixture of road, PCN and pavements.

Brenda Woo: Yes, we need a bicycle lane in Singapore! Whether it’s on the road or side of the road as long as it makes every road users safe while commuting. Motorists may have a negative view of cyclists on road largely because there isn’t a dedicated lane for bicycles and sometimes for the cyclists’ own safety they have to take a whole lane, esp. at turning junctions… If everyone shares the road and everyone knows what to expect, there can be mutual respect amongst all commuters.

Petia Garmadon: More bicycles less cars no jams.

Francis Chu: This particular photo is showing that under current traffic rules, bicycle is allowed on Bus Lanes:…/road…/road-regulations.html
I think putting a bicycle sign on Bus Lane is a very good start for the following reasons:
1) Some motorists saw cyclists on bus lane and is upset that the cyclist is “breaking the law again” but in fact that’s not true.
2) Some cyclists though they are not supposed to ride on bus lane and decided to ride on the second lane, which is more dangerous and slows down the cars there.
3) Bus drivers todays are properly trained on how to share the road with cyclists.
Putting down a bicycle sign on Bus lane does not affect current rules and is an effective start to make cycling more visible as a mode of transport.

There naturally some are not too sure about having bike lanes on Singapore roads:

Keith Dot Lee: I am not cycling on the road because our road width did not cater for bicycle. Hence a danger to cycle on road. Further, the law is not in favor of the cyclist. So the ball is with LTA. Cater for it first.

But Keith is quickly convinced by the following responses:

Dennis LH Cheong: Actually, after having some cycling in some other cities (with longer history), you should find that our (non ancient) roads have relatively wide left lane catered for buses. This features, which I didn’t know until recently, actually allowed me to have been bicycle commuting since 1996.
Francis Chu: We actually measured ~ 100 road width and we found more than 70% of the roads are wide enough to cater for a 1.2-1.6 meter bike lane.
Keith Dot Lee: Oh I see. Thks for sharing.

And fianlly there are a few nay sayer:

Matthew Lim: nay!!! have you seen the traffic in the bus lanes. its likely to be a road hazard. cars, cyclists and busses are not meant to share the same lane.

To find out what the responses Matthew received? check the STA page here:

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.


Singapore bicycle routes (Google map)

(2017-07-01) Updated link of new map:

Quickly post this excellent work of Jonathan Hiew, who tirelessly pieces together the different cycling routes in Singapore, includes Park Connector, LTA and town council cycling routes, on road routes and unobvious routes submitted by cyclists, with notes too!


What does it takes to make Singapore a truly bicycle friendly city?

To Dream Big, and take the Low Hanging Fruit first

It is wonderful news that the National Cycling Plan (NCP) targets to complete 700km off-road bicycle paths by 2030. The recent announcement by PM Lee about AMK town to be the test bed for new and innovative ideas for new bicycle town is a concrete milestone as Singapore moving towards a bicycle friendly city.

However, is 700km bicycle network enough to make Singapore a real bicycle friendly city? What does it takes to make Singapore a truly bicycle friendly city?

Let’s define a bicycle friendly city as a city where you can safely and conveniently use a bicycle to go where you need to go. 400km of the 700km NCP cycling routes are Park Connectors (PCN) which are predominantly for recreational purposes. The remaining 300km are Intra-town cycling routes which are more useful for connecting major transport nodes, town centers and amenities such as food centers and markets.

Today we have over 3000km of local access roads in Singapore connecting all the places where people need to go.

300km intra-town cycling routes vs 3000km normal roads.

This means by 2030, in average, you have a 10% chance (300km/3000km) to get to where you need to go if you are using the NCP bicycle route. If in 9 out of 10 cases I am not able to use my car to get to where I need to go, I probably won’t drive. Similarly 10% access is not friendly enough for bicycle users. So what does it takes to make Singapore a truly bicycle friendly city?

The solution is in fact obvious to many regular bicycle users all over Singapore: as shown here, they use roads as well as pavements and PCNs. The only problem is that it is not safe enough and it does not give confidence to others who would like to try using a bicycle. So what can we do?

I’d suggest to dream big, yet act pragmatic and look for “low-hanging fruit” solutions.

To Dream Big:

A) Bicycles, as a transport mode, should take up at least a 30% share**.

B) Bicycles should be able to access 90%+ of places people need to go.

C) The entire bicycle network must be safe enough for your 10-year-old kid to cycle independently.

It may seems these are impossible dreams but let’s see what are the “low-hanging fruit” that is available:

Take the Low-hanging-fruit solutions: 

1) Lift the ban for cycling on pavements. This will immediately add 3000km of off-road cycleable routes to the network, since most roads in Singapore come with pavements. Simultaneously, introduce a “strict liability law” — in case of any accident between a cyclist and a pedestrian, the cyclist is always liable. Increase the fine to make sure that all cyclists take very good care of pedestrians when sharing pavements.

2) Improve road crossing and road junction design so that it is safe for your 10-year-old kid to cross independently. Without safe crossings, the “network” is not connected.

Dangerous crossing.

Safe crossing example.

These two ideas will unlock the existing potential of Singapore with minimum effort. But it is an intermediate solution because it is not ideal to have cyclists mix with pedestrians in most situations. Therefore we should improve the on-road cycling routes with the following:

3) Introduce a 30km/h speed limit for all streets within 3km from each town center.

4) Put a bicycle sign on Bus Lanes. Gradually improve the bus stop design to allow cyclist to pass through a bus stop without interfering or interference from stopping buses.

5) Repaint neighbourhood streets with excessively wide lanes to standard 3-metre lanes. Use the space left to introduce protected bicycle lanes on road.

With a pragmatic approach, we should be able to unlock the potential of (off-road) cycling as a mode of transport within a few years, and continuously improve the efficiency and safety of the (on road) cycling network at the same time.

**A mode share of 30% share for bicycles will help to increase 33% capacity of public transport as well as 16.5% of road capacity in Singapore. This will be able to justify at least 10% of LTA’s investments to improve bicycle infrastructure. How is that possible?  To make it simple, let’s say today transport mode share is 70% on public transport, 30% use cars and taxis. 25% from public transport and 5% from cars shifted to create the 30% of bicycle mode share. This means bicycle will help to relief 25/75, or one third of the loading from public transport, and at the same time 5/30, or 1/6 of loading on cars. What kind of budget will be required to make such improvement possible, even if space is not an issue? Therefore it is a no brainer to spend billions of budget to improve bicycle infrastructure. It will benefits all road users.


PM Lee announce Ang Mo Kio as the latest test bed for new cycling town

The Singapore National Cycling Plan get a substantial endorsement from PM Lee Hsiang Loong. At the launch of the “Clean and Green Singapore 2015” on November 8th, 2014. PM Lee was surprised by the spontaneous applause when he mentioned “Bicycle!” as an alternative mode of transport he want to encourage. He cited his experience of cycling in Copenhagen and offer Ang Mo Kio as a “test bed” for innovative bicycle infrastructure to make cycling a choice mode of everyday transport. This will be a significant milestone of the National Cycling Plan which targets to complete 700km bicycle paths by 2030.

The role of cycling as part of a bigger picture of Sustainable Singapore vision 2015 is becoming more clear now, as described in the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015:

Cycling and walking will become popular forms of getting around in our neighbourhoods and regions. …..   With a “car-lite” Singapore, we can reduce our carbon footprint, as well as enjoy fresher air, a cleaner environment and a healthier lifestyle.

Here are some concrete actions mentioned in the blueprint:

• Introduce innovative features and creative designs to towns to provide a better cycling and walking environment, starting with Ang Mo Kio

• Develop a comprehensive cycling network spanning more than 700 km by 2030, with supporting infrastructure and a code of conduct to promote safe cycling within and across towns

• Create more car-free spaces in housing estates and the city, such as the Civic District, where roads are temporarily or permanently closed for public activities


Sustainable Singapore Blueprint

Cycling in Singapore get a big push from the goverment

Looking back, it was less than one year since LCSG ride with Minister Khaw last year (link). During that ride he told me that he consider bicycling as an important mode of transport for a livable future Singapore. Under his ministry, URA, NPark and HDB are all working to make cycling an easier choice for the common*.

Therefore I was really excited to read the Minister’s post “4 wheels good, 2 wheels and 2 legs even better” on October 22:

We must now go beyond cycling for recreation. We want it to be a viable transport option for short trips to the supermarket, coffee shop, hawker centre or the nearest MRT station. To do so, we must make such trips safe and pleasant.

But how can we make the bicycle trips safe and pleasant?

Perhaps Ms Irene Ng, MP of Tampines, the first Cycling Town in Singapore, has some solid ideas. She made a 20 minutes long speech yesterday in the Parliament to call for a National Integrated Cycling Strategy and Policy Framework. 

The question now is how to move from good intentions to coordinated policy, and from policy to practice. The answer lies in a national integrated cycling strategy and policy framework which has specific, measurable targets, fosters cooperation between government agencies, and supported by adequate and sustained funding.


There are many good observation of the current problems and constructive ideas of how to move forward. Follow this link to the entire speech.



*Note: NPark pioneered the concept of PCN, or Park Connector Network. Today there are over 200km PCN, which is the backbone of a comprehensive leisure cycling network all over Singapore.
URA, or Urban Redevelopment Authority,  lay down the Master Plan in 2013 defining a more sustainable approach towards a “car-less”, “bike-more” future. URA has been chairing the National Cycling Plan Steering Committee too. HDB, the Housing Development Board, build flats for 70% of the population. It’s traffic calming design of estates are mostly friendly for cyclists and pedestrians.

Car Free Day in KL (10th edition, 2014-10-03)

KL Car Free Day


I’ve heard about Car Free Day but never experience it in person. Thanks to the invitation from URA, I had the opportunity to participate in the 10th edition of KL Car Free Day last Saturday. I went with a team of URA, LTA, SLA, SDCF and Mr. Peter Ong, the Head of Civil Service, to study how the KL Car Free Day is organized. It was an eye opener for me.


How was it like cycling on KL Car Free Day?

Cycling on the car free four lanes road through the CBD area felt like a dream. I saw many happy faces from young to old, including cyclists, skateboarders, in-line skaters and joggers. It felt like a big celebration in the city. According to Datuk Naim Mohammad, the Chairman of Cycling Implementation Committee, the monthly Car Free Day (7-9am) typically attracts 10,000 participants. Despite the initial skepticism, the complaints from motorist has dropped and more stake holders are finding ways to sponsor and capitalize on this popular event.

What are the benefits of Car Free Day?

Quote from the KL Car Free Day:
“The KL Car Free Morning was initiated as part of a goal to reduce carbon emissions in the city by 40 per cent by 2020. The project is the result of the Transport, Planning and Leisure Departments of DBKL working with the Royal Malaysian Police Force to achieve a coordinated whole-of-government outcome. KL Mayor, Ahmad Phesal Talib, and Chairman of the Cycling Implementation Committee, Datuk Naim Mohammad, act as the figure heads of the initiative.”

Apart from reducing carbon emission, Car Free Day provides the opportunity for citizen to experience the transformation of public space from car-dominant to car-free. In many cities, such events help to inspire people to consider more use of green mobility such as bicycle for joy, health and efficiency. In Singapore, the CBD area is mostly quiet with little traffic during the early Sunday morning. A Car Free event during this time can be a great way to optimize the usefulness of limited space in Singapore and provide a wonderful opportunity for everyone to experience the city in a completely different way.


The next question is how?
Below are some tips after talking to the organizer and seeing the event unfolded:

1) Closing off the entire road is safer and easier than closing only one or two lanes.
2) Road blocks and road marshals at strategic positions such as the entrances of the closed segments of the roads.
3) Safety: Traffic police on motorcycle to clear the roads before and after the event. Safety riders are deployed along the way. Ambulance and first aid team standing by in case of any accident.
4) Participants gathered at the starting point to wait for the flag off. It was a natural one-way flow and that’s safer than bi-directional traffic.
5) Getting support from business and the shops/hotels in the affected area helps to make the event more sustainable.
– The Car Free Day event can become an attraction for hotel guests. The hotel just need to provide a few bicycles, minimum investment.
– Consider alternative way for hotel guests to access transport to airport


Can we have Singapore’s own Car Free Day any time soon?

I certainly hope so! Judging from the happy faces of the Singapore team it seems the idea of a Car Free Day in Singapore may come sooner than later. Photos below includes staff from URA, LTA, SLA, SCDF and Head of Civil Service.

Do you think Car Free day is a good idea for Singapore? Where would you like to see it happen?

Singapore study team meeting with Datuk Naim Mohammad, the Chairman of Cycling Implementation Committee, KL Malaysia.
Peter Ong, Head of Civil Service, Ng Lang, CEO of URA, Lim Eng Hwee, Chief Planner of URA
Dr. Chin Kian Keong, LTA, Tan Tee Nee, LTA and URA team (Andrew, Nicholas, Eugene)
Francis Chu, LoveCyclingSG, Lucy Lim, SLA and Swee Leong CHUA, Yeow Kiat YAM, Boon Hui SER from SCDF

More photos at Flickr