MOT – Bicycle Safe Singapore

I delivered the following speech during the MOT Committee of Supply debate on 11 March 2014:

YJJ Cycling to BridgeMadam, two months ago, I did a day-long cycling trip through San Francisco (SF), on a working weekday, from the bustling financial and shopping areas to the Golden Gate Bridge and back. It was a refreshing experience. Even in the busy downtown, there were clear bicycle lanes marked out for cyclists. Where there were no dedicated bicycle lanes, the slow lane was marked as a shared lane between motorists and cyclists. Motorists that were on the shared lane followed behind us. In some suburbs without any marked lanes, motorists waited patiently for us to cross the road junctions. They kept a safe distance when overtaking us.

Bicycles were allowed onto trains and subways. There were shared bicycle kiosks in many parts of the city where one could book out a bike and return it at another kiosk. It is no wonder that many in SF commute to work by cycling.

There are other examples of bicycle friendly cities. In Copenhagen, cycling is already the most popular mode of transport and the city has set even ambitious cycling KPIs, such as for bicycling to capture 50% of all modes of transport to school or work. The city has dedicated lanes and special short cut paths for cyclists. It takes a whole-of-city approach to encourage cycling by reducing travel time on popular routes and made roads safer and more comfortable for cyclists.

I acknowledge that the government has implemented some cycling paths and plans to have more. Having experienced San Francisco, I hope the government can set even more ambitious targets to make cycling safer and more comfortable here so many more can use it as a preferred mode of transport. We can start with new towns by having more dedicated bicycle lanes on roads and to have a more aggressive national campaign to cultivate respect for the roads between cyclists and motorists.


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