Published: 15 February 2015
Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim,
Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Transport
Mr Zainal Bin Sapari,
Adviser for Pasir Ris East Constituency
Ladies and gentlemen
Cycling has become more popular in Singapore in recent years, for recreation, and for short trips in the neighbourhood. We have seen the growing popularity of cycling in Pasir Ris.
2 Pasir Ris is long well-known as a cycling town. I see many Pasir Ris residents cycling in our parks for recreation. Many also cycle to the MRT station, schools, your places of work in the nearby industrial estates,White Sands Shopping Mall, Downtown East, community centres, and supermarkets. Some of our residents even cycle to Tampines, Changi Village, or across the river to Punggol!
3 As cycling becomes more popular, all of us are concerned about road safety – for cyclists themselves, for pedestrians and for motorists. We started building purpose built cycle tracks in Pasir Ris in the early 2000s, but these imposed many impediments on cyclists, and did not cover the whole town. They were not as well used as we had hoped. In 2013, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) decided to build intra-town cycling path networks in all HDB towns over the next 15 years. These paths will be connected to the Park Connector Networks to form an island-wide off-road cycling path network spanning over 700 kilometres. LTA has also built 14,000 bicycle parking lots at MRT stations to facilitate Singaporeans using bicycles to complete the first- and last- mile of their MRT journeys. 712 of these bicycle parking lots are at our Pasir Ris MRT Station.
Pasir Ris was among the first to build a large number of sheltered bicycle racks at our MRT station in 2009, and the first to use double-decker bicycle racks in 2010.
Pasir Ris Cycling Path Network
4 Pasir Ris continues to improve our cycling infrastructure.
We are the third town in Singapore to have a completed cycling path network – stretching over 13 kilometres from Pasir Ris Drive 12 in the west to Loyang Avenue in the east.
The cycling paths will greatly enhance connectivity and safety for cyclists of different ages and skill levels.
The cycling paths also allow pedestrians and cyclists to have their own space wherever possible, improving safety for everyone.
Building Clear and Consistent Cycling Rules and Norms
5 However, given Singapore’s land constraints, it is not possible to build dedicated cycling paths for all popular routes. There will be situations where pedestrians and cyclists need to cross paths or share space, and we want to avoid accidents as far as possible.
6 Having clear rules and norms will help. MOT is currently working on developing clear rules and norms, such as where cyclists can and cannot cycle, and what cyclists should do when riding across junctions.
In the meantime, I would suggest two simple general guidelines. First, the less vulnerable should look out for and give way to the more vulnerable. If you are driving, be extra careful when you are passing a cyclist.
If you are cycling or using a personal mobility device such as an electric scooter and unicycle, give way to pedestrians. Second, those who are more vulnerable should be aware of their own vulnerability and conduct themselves safely at all times. If we all follow these simple rules and show courtesy, consideration for others, and mutual understanding, we can help make our roads and paths safer and more friendly for everyone.
7 To help Pasir Ris residents get more familiar with the new cycling paths, LTA has produced a brochure on how residents can use the new cycling network. Even better, 50 volunteers from our Pasir Ris grassroots organisations have stepped forward to serve as cycling ambassadors. They have received training from the Traffic Police and the Safe Cycling Task Force, a voluntary organisation that works with government agencies, corporate organisations and the cycling community to promote, educate and implement safe cycling on Singapore roads. Our Pasir Ris cycling ambassadors will orientate you to the new paths, and share tips on safe and responsible cycling.
8 As the cycling community in Singapore grows, and as we continue to improve the cycling infrastructure, let us also work together to promote and practise good safety habits that keep all commuters safe.
I now declare the Pasir Ris cycling path network completed and hope to see many more residents using it, in a safe and courteous way.