Drainage cover

loose drainge cover

the problems of existing drainage cover.

Sine there is no dedicated bicycle lane in Singapore, cyclists, being the slower moving vehicle, is advised by traffic rules to ride “close” to the left side of the slowest lane. However, the very space is the most neglected area for road construction and maintenance. The poor condition of the drainage grill is a clear example of such oversight. Embedded in the design is the danger of unexpected accidents: trapped wheels, slippery and uneven height.

The most common design of drainage grill lining along Singapore roads is shown above. The design of the verticle grills and cross bars has taken into consideration to prevent thin bicycle tire from being trapped. However, the overall size of the metal grill is too small in relationship to the concerte openning. Maybe the smaller dimension is to facilitate easier open and close action when the cleaner need to clean the rubbish trapped below the cover. Since the hinge is position along one of the short edge, there is a large tolerance when the cover is closed. Quite often large gap was found between the metal cover and the concrete openning. (more details)

2011-02-25 I was thrown out of my bike when the front wheel was trapped between the metal drainage cover and the concrete openning.

2011-02-25 I was thrown out of my bike when the front wheel was trapped between the metal drainage cover and the concrete openning.

After I posted a photo of my bicycle’s front wheel trapped along one of the drainage cover in Facebook, many cyclists friends said they had the same terrible experience of being thrown out of their bike. A better design is needed.

Design directions:

1) A better new design to replace the old design when new drainage cover need to be installed.

2) A retro-fitting solution to ‘improve’ the current problematic drainage cover to reduce the potential hazard for cyclists.

This is an ‘Open Source” project. I will share any new development of this project on this page. Please post your feedback/ suggestions via the comment here. When it is ready I will forward the proposal to LTA/PUB or relevant agents for their consideration.
-Francis Chu

5 thoughts on “Drainage cover

  1. CROR

    Thank you for your wonderful post. It has clearly address the issue that cyclist face when cycling on the roads in Singapore.

    In fact, this is what happened to me a few days back as well.

    Thank you once again for promoting safe and pleasant cycling.


  2. Alex

    Happened to me today. Luckily I was going 5km/h… I wonder if I damaged my front fork.
    Very relevant post for cyclists in Singapore, thank you. ALEX

  3. Loo Chiew Hooi

    The exact happened to me this evening at Simon Lane when a car cuts into my lane and I had to move on the drainage cover. I was thrown off my bike and suffered cuts and grazes to my hands, palm and between the nose and upper lip. I hope the LTA will do something before more cyclists get hurt.

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