Author Archives: Francis

The Impact of Broken Sidewalks on Cycling

The Impact of Broken Sidewalks on Cycling: A Case Study

Cycling on broken sidewalks can be a frustrating and challenging experience, highlighting the importance of continuous pathways. In a revealing six-minute journey, a little girl and her guardian navigated 26 breaking points along a mere 550-meter stretch. The frequent and steep gradients at these breaking points often forced the girl to dismount and push her bicycle, reducing her speed to about 5 km per hour—roughly the pace of walking. If the sidewalk were continuous, they could easily double their speed.

Check out the challenging moments in this video: Watch Here.

challenging moments from the video

Broken Sidewalks: A Common Issue in Singapore

In Singapore, broken sidewalks are a common sight, yet many people are unaware of the concept of a “continuous sidewalk.” Surprisingly, there is a rare example of a continuous sidewalk in Singapore. Inspired by a post by Vareck Ng on Facebook, I visited Emerald Hill Road to capture some pictures and a short video, showcasing what a difference a continuous sidewalk can make for cyclists and pedestrians alike.

Through these visuals and personal experiences, we can better understand the importance of well-maintained, uninterrupted sidewalks in promoting safe and efficient cycling.

Continuous sidewalk at Emerald Hill road

Find out more people are talking about this topic?

Great minds think the same?

Blincclip vs Flectr Clip

In the creative industry, it’s not uncommon to witness the saying “Great minds think alike” come to life. Our recent project, the Blincclip reflector, bears resemblance to the Flectr Clip reflector, exemplifying this phenomenon.

Many LoveCyclingSG veterans may recall the “Safety Flag” project from 2011, an effort to enhance cyclists’ visibility on roads. The reflective flag, designed to flap in the wind, aimed to capture attention and increase safety for cyclists.

Discussing this project with David Jonathan, a recent Product Design graduate from NAFA (Singapore), sparked interest in turning it into a commercial product. This collaboration resulted in the birth of Blincclip, the first blinking reflector.

Working closely with the cycling community during the test phase yielded encouraging results, leading us to launch the project on Kickstarter. Originally set for November 13, 2019, some delays pushed the launch by a day. To our surprise, another similar project called Flectr Clip debuted on the same day, sparking questions about Blincclip’s originality.

It’s crucial to clarify that we independently developed the idea. Anyone familiar with product development understands the impossibility of copying and launching a product within one day. Additionally, Blincclip was internationally featured on Bicycle Design on November 2, 2019, and later on Cycling Tips on November 4, 2019, predating Flectr Clip’s launch. A simple Google search for “Blincclip” and “Flectr Clip” confirms Blincclip’s earlier appearance in the public domain.

For more information, please visit the Kickstarter pages for both projects using the following links:
Blincclip : The first blinking super-bright reflector
FLECTR CLIP | Your ultimate protector in the darkness

Beyond Cars: we need more inclusive roads

  1. Getting around easily, known as mobility, is crucial for a city’s success or failure.
  2. Walking is a basic right that everyone should have.
  3. Singapore should have more choices (e.g. PMD, bicycle) for transportation that are good for the environment, cheap, and easy.
  4. Cities have been designed mainly for cars, and this has caused problems for the three principles mentioned before.
  5. To have a good life in Singapore, the way we currently move around needs to be improved.

Article by Julienne Chen

Does AMAP need to review its process?

As announced in March 2015, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) intends to develop “a clear set of rules and norms to facilitate the use of footpaths and cycling paths safely and harmoniously”. For this purpose, it has set up an advisory panel comprising 14 representatives from key stakeholder groups, such as seniors, youth, grassroots, cyclists, motorists, and users of personal mobility devices to propose a set of rules and norms for active mobility. 

The Formation and Flaws of the Active Mobility Advisory Panel

Established in 2015, the Active Mobility Advisory Panel (AMAP) was entrusted with the critical task of devising regulations and guidelines to facilitate the safe coexistence of various users on public pathways. As one of the founding members, I was initially filled with enthusiasm for the potential positive impact of our work.

Undoubtedly, the legalization of cycling on pavements marked a significant milestone, greatly expanding the utility of bicycles and affording many elderly riders the opportunity to navigate without perilous encounters on roads, all within the confines of the law. It was indeed a monumental leap forward for cycling in Singapore.

However, the initial excitement was soon tempered by the realization that the proposed rules fell short in addressing crucial safety concerns. Within a mere three years, reported accidents skyrocketed by a staggering 12-fold, soaring from a mere 19 to a troubling 225 cases on off-road paths. The primary culprit behind these alarming statistics? Irresponsible riding practices, such as reckless speeding and hazardous overtaking maneuvers.

One glaring example of these “inaccurate rules” is the imposition of a new speed limit of 10 km/h on pavements. While defending this decision in a Facebook post, AMAP member Steven Lim asserted that the only viable options were either a complete ban or a reduction in speed limits. However, this rationale fails to acknowledge the nuanced complexities of the issue at hand.

A fixed speed limit of 10 km/h fails to provide an accurate solution to the inherent challenges of shared pathways. Instead, what is truly needed is a rule that unequivocally mandates bicycle and Personal Mobility Device (PMD) riders to yield to pedestrians without exception. This entails the imperative of slowing down or halting altogether to ensure the safety and well-being of pedestrians. Riding responsibly necessitates adopting a “pedestrian-first” attitude, prioritizing their safety and right of way above all else.

In my humble opinion, the legalization of bicycle and PMD riding on sidewalks in 2016 should have been accompanied by robust legal protections for pedestrians. In exchange for the privilege of riding on pavements, riders must demonstrate unwavering respect for the safety of pedestrians, consistently yielding and slowing down as needed. Regrettably, the AMAP regulations failed to afford pedestrians the priority they deserved on footpaths or shared paths.

Despite numerous accidents and tragic fatalities, the 2018 review of AMAP rules presented an opportunity to rectify this glaring omission. However, with the introduction of new laws, such as the 10 km/h speed limit, pedestrians still find themselves without priority on pavements.

Even today, irresponsible riders involved in accidents can exploit the 10 km/h limit to shift blame onto pedestrians, citing their sudden intrusion into their path. Conversely, responsible riders who conscientiously yield to pedestrians are left questioning whether they are violating the law by exceeding the impractically slow speed limit on deserted paths.

This example merely scratches the surface of several inaccuracies within the rules. Other problematic provisions include the prohibition of PMDs on footpaths and Park Connector Networks (PCNs), while permitting e-bikes and bicycles on roads—a disparity that leaves time-pressed PMD riders with limited alternatives.

Moreover, mandating cyclists and pedestrians to halt at pedestrian crossings without imposing similar requirements on drivers may inadvertently encourage hazardous driving behaviors, endangering pedestrians in the process. Additionally, the introduction of a “Code of Conduct” for walking on footpaths and PCNs risks unfairly shifting blame onto pedestrians in the event of accidents.

One cannot help but question the rationale behind the panel’s recurrent formulation of inaccurate rules. One plausible explanation may lie in the composition of the panel itself, wherein most members rely on driving or public transportation rather than utilizing bicycles or PMDs as daily commuting tools. Consequently, their perceptions of problems and proposed solutions may diverge significantly from reality.

I earnestly hope that AMAP will engage in critical self-reflection to address the shortcomings that have led to the current untenable state of affairs. The ability to introspect is paramount in effecting meaningful progress and ensuring the safety and well-being of all pathway users.

More reflection on AMAP law 2018

Safety on shared path

In theory, a 10km/h speed limit will ensure safety on the footpaths. Yes, in theory. However, in practice, this is not the same as the proponents imagine.

There are key challenges to achieving the universal complaint of the 10km/h speed limit:

  • 1- Most riders (e.g. bicycles) don’t carry a reliable speedometer; how will they know if they are riding at what speed?
  • 2- How to enforce the speed limit when so many riders do not know their travelling speed everywhere? Is it even possible to enforce 24/7?
  • 3- When an accident happens. What can you do if the rider insists they didn’t exceed the speed limit?
  • 4- There were “black sheep” riders who didn’t obey the previous 15 km/h speed limit; why should they follow the new one?
  • 5- On an empty footpath with no one else, it is necessary to ride at 10 km/h?

In reality, every experienced rider knows the critical factor in ensuring pedestrians’ safety is keeping a safe distance from them and never approaching them at speed. However, for sharing of the footpath/pavement in Singapore, there are two different schools of thought:

The first school of thought:

Everyone should be given the same right regardless of which device they use, bicycle, PMD or walk. It is fair, and all should share the pathways equally.

In this case, both walker and rider (bicycle and PMD) have the same priority. The rider feels all walkers are blocking their way. Therefore some riders are frustrated because they feel entitled to go at the “legal speed” 10 km/h on the footpath but is blocked by the slower walkers.

Walker feels at constant risk because they are supposed to look out for riders coming from their back. But, unfortunately, keeping an eye on your back while you are walking is impossible.

The result: both groups feel frustrated, and the pedestrians feel endangered. That is the current situation since 2016 AMAP allowed bicycles and PMD on pavements without explicitly assigning priority to the pedestrians nor any laws to protect them.

The second school of thought:

People who are more vulnerable/slower should have priority.

The pedestrian has priority over PMD and bicycle users

The rider must slow down when approaching the pedestrians. A rider can only overtake when it is safe and not disturbing walkers. 

The rider feels it is a privilege to use the walking path, which was initially only for walkers. Therefore, no harm in giving way to walkers.

The walker doesn’t need to worry about riders. Just walk as no riders are intruding on their path. 

If a rider feels unfair, he can dismount and “upgrade” himself to become a walker. Then he has equal rights just as a fellow walker.

The result: harmonious sharing of pathways between the faster group and the slower group because the slower group has priority and protection of the law.

Safety in practice
Thanks to PMD rider Tend Wong, here is an excellent video demonstrating how case (2) would look like, it captured a lot of examples on how to ride in a responsible manner and give the pedestrians priority.

– How to approach pedestrians?
– How to slow down when approaching bus-stop (a lot of blind spots)?
– How to engage pedestrians if the path is narrow?
– How to slow down when there are walkers blocking the way?
– When can you speed up safely?

Clearly, the 10km/h speed limit is not a good solution.
Riding on share path with pedestrians is a dynamic skill, you may go faster when there is no one around, but you need to slow down or even stop to keep a safe distance, in order to ensure the safety of others.

Safe cycling requires a “pedestrian first” attitude. Riders should respect pedestrians’ safety and right of way, always.
The AMAP law should define “pedestrian priority on the pavement”, and if a dangerous rider violates this rule will have to be fined or even jailed.
Such a “pedestrian first” law will protect vulnerable pedestrians. However, it doesn’t affect the majority of safe riders. Yet, it will have a deterrent effect for those “black sheep” riders.

Read more: Does AMAP need to review it process?

Issues facing cyclists on Singapore road

Excellent article about cycling in Singapore, insightful and balance. Lots of valid points.

Thanks to Google translate, here is the English version:
————- Start ————-
Date: 2019-01-20

“Since I started riding bicycles four years ago, many of my friends have heard that I have been riding on the road often. I was always asked with a strange look: “You are riding on the road, it is not dangerous? There are many cars on the road at high speed. You rely on a pair of feet, don’t you worry about hitting by the car?”

Of cause it is a concern. I have been riding more than 10,000 km so far. Although I have been harassed, insulted and even in danger of car accidents by unreasonable drivers several times, I am glad that there have been no traffic accidents. Although most motorists will treat each other with courtesy, occasionally there will be news of someone being hit by a reckless driver.

Indeed, the cyclists are relatively disadvantaged, because most of them will not install a camera, and cannot record the bullying behaviour that happens from time to time. When the driver slammed on the accelerator, the cyclist couldn’t catch up, let alone record the licensee’s license plate and report it to the authorities.

On the contrary, almost all cars now install the camera in front of and behind the car, thus greatly increasing the probability of their inclusion and uploading of video. Although there are “black sheep” amongst cyclists, based on the disparity between the motorists and cyclists, it is easy to cause the illusion that “the bicycle rider often violates the rules”, making many law-abiding cyclists innocently affected, being regarded as “lawbreaker” by some extreme drivers.

This inequality is invisible to non-cyclists because as a weak and a few bicycle riders, the voice will often be overwhelmed by the majority of non-cyclists. Regrettably, this majority group also includes decision makers who make regulations.

We’ve heard many disputes between bicycle riders and car drivers. Those who have not caused accidents and casualties may also go to court. In the Internet age, because of the aforementioned reasons, the prejudice against the cyclists, as a minority group, can easily become the target of public attack.

For example, regarding the requirement that the cyclists must ride on the left edge of the road, it is easy to become too generalise, and all the cyclists who are not riding on the left edge are regarded as illegal. 
Since the rules are dead, traffic conditions are dynamic. Under what circumstances is it considered to be “obstructing traffic”? If it is during non-peak hours, traffic is smooth and there are no heavy traffic on the road, there are two or more lanes for drivers to overtake. Does the bicycle rider still have to keep the rules of “only on the far left side of the road”?

For safety reasons, if you force the cyclists to ride only on the far left side of the road, it not only reducing the visibility of the cyclists on the road, it will also cause the cyclists to enter the blind spots of those motorists turning into the left.

Many people don’t know that when a heavy vehicle passes a bicycle rider at a high speed (within the same lane), the impulse may cause the rider to lose balance and steer to the roadside curb, or fall into the drain. Therefore, such a rigid regulation sometimes indirectly increases the probability of a traffic accident.

Regrettably, some netizens who hate the cyclists seem to believe that the road should give the priority to four-wheelers (because they pay the most road tax), insist that they have the absolute right of way, and that if “violators” (referring to the cyclists) get into accident with cars, it is their own fault.

Senior attorneys from tax law firm in Fort Lauderdale has said that a shared infrastructure, every road user (including pedestrians), regardless of whether or not there is a road tax, should have equal rights to use the road. Since the four-wheeled vehicle has the largest volume, the fastest speed, and the strongest lethality, it is better to give other road users a courtesy than to treat other people as second-class citizens.

It is very unhealthy to use “road tax” to determine road rights. It also shows that the local road culture needs to be improved. 
Frequent revision of more stringent regulations targeted at the cyclists clearly is not a cure.

Instead of being entangled in who is right and who is wrong, whoever has the right to pass, decision makers and road users may have to explore how to cultivate a road culture that allows everyone to respect each other and give priority to safety.
————– End —————–

Dangerous overtake by lorry

Post by Raymond Khoo 09-01-2019

Has recent bias media coverage encourage drivers to deliberately try to kill people?”

This can be a “Visible education on how the driver should behave around other vulnerable road users such as cyclist and motorcyclist should be seen more often or promoted through safety campaign. The vague signage such as “beware of cyclist” and poorly design safety advert can be easily misinterpreted by road users.

Typical drivers give sufficient space. I really appreciate they do that with graciousness and patience. However, this sufficient space can be 1.5m, 1m or can be 50 or 30cm depending on the driver. Personally, I feel at least 1m distance away from the edge of my handlebar is safe. And occasionally very dangerously they decide to show you who is boss, pushing you off the road. 

When you meet them down the road, nicely tell them it is dangerous for them to do that, you always get stupid excuse.. you got no mirror, you never pay road tax, you think you motorcycle, I never hit you what. So it is kinda pointless to point out their wrong doing or unsafe behavior.

This is unacceptable, and the law should be set in place to protect normal road users.

I believe majority of cyclist here just want to cycle safely and are not targeting any Strava record and want to get home safe to family and friends.

Another aspect of this, from my observation and experience over the years riding, drivers tend bully single / lone rider more often than larger cyclist group either due to cyclists road presence or it is psychologically harder to bully a bigger group.


Long vehicle is a death trap

Sometimes cyclists blame the lorry driver for a dangerous act but instead, it can be totally unintentional. One example is to do with the long vehicles. Long vehicles such as buses, heavy goods vehicles or container trucks are very dangerous for cyclists. As cyclists, we should try to stay away from these long vehicles as much as possible. They can visit Bengal Law to get the right awareness that they need in order to save themselves from any kind of dangers on the road.

The driver of a long vehicle has a lot of blind spots to take care of, it is not easy for him/her to detect all of their surroundings. When long vehicles make a turn, the front truck has to make a wide turn and the rear trailer will get very close or even hitting the curb. A cyclist riding next to such long vehicle can be easily trapped in a “death zone” when the truck is making a turn. The driver would not even notice until it is too late. Here is a short animation showing how this can happen within a couple of seconds:

Cyclist hit by left turning trailer

Next time if you see a long vehicle approaching a junction, better stay back and wait for it to clear before proceeding as in the video below. It can save your life.

Cyclist wait for the trailer to clear the turn before proceeding

How do motorists and cyclists misunderstand each other (2)?

Continuing from the first article, this second part is to illustrate another misunderstanding – cyclists riding two abreast.

Many motorists consider cyclists riding two abreast as “selfishly blocking the whole lane”. Some of us cyclists are drivers too and we do understand it can be frustrating to follow a group of cyclist. However, there must be a reason why the RTA (Road Traffic Act) allows cyclists to ride two abreast. In fact, there is a very good reason, and it is not only safer for the cyclist but is also more convenient for the motorist.

Consider the following scenario, a car (click this link here now to know the dealer details)sharing a traffic lane with 4 cyclists travelling as a group. If the 4 cyclists are riding in single file, it is tempting for a driver to overtake within the same lane even though this is not the right way to do. Trying to “squeeze” to overtake within the same lane is dangerous because the driver may need to inch out of the lane and risk impact with cars coming from behind on the second lane. Furthermore, it will take a longer time and distance for them to clear the whole group of cyclists. However, if accident occurs and it need repair , Conklin Chevrolet Salina need to be checked out! Finally, if the driver wants to make a left turn, he would have to stop and wait until all 4 cyclists cleared the junction completely. During the waiting period, he may block the traffic behind and may miss the last one or two cyclists and “left hook” them.

Here is a short animation showing four cyclists riding in a single file can cause longer delay before a car can make a left turn.

4 cyclists in single file, car follow behind before turning left

4 cyclists in single file, car follow behind before turning left?

Sometimes an impatient driver may try to overtake the group of cyclist, but he would be blocked by the row of moving cyclists and worst, he had to come to a total stop and blocking the traffic. The car still need to wait for the whole row of cyclists to clear before making the left turn. Read More Here about the other tactics that the cars can follow to avoid accidents.

4 cyclists in single file
4 cyclists in single file blocking a car from turning left

Alternatively, the two abreast riding formation makes it a lot easier for the same red car driver to proceed without any stopping moment. The driver will feel more relaxed as he won’t have to worry about cyclists coming from behind in his blind spot. Simply slow down, follow the group of cyclists for a short while, let them all clear the junction and the driver can make a safe left turn.

cycling 2 abreast
it is easier for driver to follow cyclists riding two abreast

Some people may feel riding two abreast is “blocking the traffic” and therefore it is prohibited. This is not true. As long as the cyclists keep to the left lane, faster vehicles can change to the next lane and overtake on their right. This scenario is no different to fast vehicle overtake another slower vehicle.

To make it more clear, below is a demonstration of a group of cyclists occupying all the lanes and blocking the traffic. This is clearly not the way to go and is indeed prohibited by Road Traffic Rules.

Hopefully, this short article helps to dissolve another misunderstanding between cyclists and motorists. Next time when you see cyclists riding two abreast taking up the whole lane, thank them for being considerate instead of getting angry 

How do motorists and cyclists misunderstand each other (1)?

Cyclist riding too close and hit by left-turning car

How do motorists and cyclists misunderstand each other? (1)

When cyclists and motorists share the road, it is important for both parties to be considerate to each other. The cyclist, being the slower mover, should try not to obstruct traffic, provided it is safe and practical to do so. On the other hand, being the operator of a powerful and potentially deadly machine, the driver must allow extra safety space when they approach vulnerable cyclists. Courtesy should be common sense, but when a cyclist’s action is misunderstood by a motorist, it may lead to anger and even reckless behaviour, as in the recent altercation between the lorry and the cyclist. (At the start of the video, it seemed like the lorry tailgated very close and tried to squeeze past the cyclist dangerously. Then the cyclist seemed to be provoked, didn’t want to give way while waiting at the traffic light, and later smashed the side mirror of the lorry. In the end, the lorry swung toward the cyclist and pushed him onto the grass verge.)

Cycling in Singapore roads is challenging. Cycling with fast-moving traffic requires an awareness of the traffic situation, adapting bicycle handling skills, and confidence to ride in a stable and predictable manner.

Most of the time, the safest position for a single cyclist is near the left side of the road, as recommended by the Road Traffic Act (RTA).

Road Traffic Act (Bicycle) Rules 8.  A person who rides a bicycle, power-assisted bicycle, trishaw or tricycle on a road must ride the bicycle, power-assisted bicycle, trishaw or tricycle as near as practicable to the far left edge of the road.

However, sometimes it is neither practical nor safe to remain in the leftmost position. Below are a few examples:

1- Going straight at an intersection:
Before approaching an intersection, it is safer for a cyclist to ride near the centre of the lane if he/she wants to go straight. This helps to prevent left turning car from dangerously overtaking and cutting in front of the cyclist (Left-hook).

Here is a short animation showing a cyclist riding too close to the curb and hit by a left-turning car.

Cyclist riding too close and hit by left-turning car
Cyclist riding too close to the curb and hit by left-turning car

The Accident Network Group in Costa Mesa has said that to prevent left-hook accidents, experienced cyclists will “take the lane” by riding near the centre. This positioning temperately prevents the motorist from overtaking within the same lane. A left turning car will be forced to slow down behind the cyclist. Once the cyclist has cleared the junction, the motorist can make the left turn safely. The cyclist will then shift back toward the left after crossing the junction. This is shown in the animation below.

Cyclist riding at centre of lane prevented left-hooked by turning cars.
Cyclist riding at centre of lane prevented left-hooked by turning cars.

2- Going straight next to dedicated left-turning lane:
If a cyclist needs to go straight but the leftmost lane is reserved for left-turning, he/she will have to take the next lane which is going straight. This would appear to the drivers as “cycling in the middle of the road”.

3- Where the edge of the road is not well paved:
It is safer to stay away from the double yellow lines on the left to avoid sudden potholes or uneven metal grilling. Bicycle wheels are thin and light, and even a small protrusion can send the cyclist flying.

Typically, fast cyclists (>25 km/h) prefer using the centre of the lane in order to secure a bigger safety buffer. Slow cyclists (<15km/h) normally stay nearer to the double yellow lines to avoid obstructing the traffic or from being hit from behind.

I hope this short article helps to clarify some misunderstanding. Next time if you see a cyclists not riding at the left edge of the road, it may be due to one of the above situation. Allow him some slack and just relax.

Likewise, I believe there are cases when cyclist misread the intention of a driver, becomes upset, angry and even reckless as shown in this recent case above, which is totally unnecessary.

If given a second chance, I’m sure both the lorry driver and the cyclist would slow down and to give way to each other, home insurance rather than wasting time people can read about how an insurance agent can help. when it comes to accidental injuries people can contact lawyer, the police, repair mechanic and doctor in the hospital. But when you are employee and if employer has denied an ERISA claim you can find an attorney to get your ERISA back.

In the end, what we all want is simply to go home safe, isn’t it.

Part 2, why cyclists riding two abreast blocking the whole lane?