Time to gear up.
Time to gear up.
- By Adam Kerr
- | Mar 30, 2017
It’s nothing but good news for the local cycling community whether you’re a recreational cyclist or if you’re an enthusiast who goes around Singapore on the weekends on a fixie. Last year, we reported that Singapore is wheeling its way into becoming a car-lite country, even though some might not be totally onboard with the idea. It's the right way to go, as far as sustainability is concerned. And it seems like we’re not gonna hit the brakes anytime soon, at least for the cycling community here.
It's quite crazy to think that in just a short span of time, three same-y bicycle-sharing startups made its foray into our city. It started with MoBike, who announced last year that they had plans to launch a pilot for its fleet of bikes that don't require a docking station. Then came oBike, whose functionality and overall usability was very akin to MoBike's, followed by Ofo, whose main operations are in Beijing and Shanghai. Each of them has their own pros and cons (though we feel that oBike’s app UI/UX is amazing, and the fact that they’re pretty much everywhere now is another plus point), but it’s always good to have options, no?
Well, it’s not exactly good or bad news, but it's good to know. Last July, LTA proposed a new scheme that would see 1,000 bicycles for use across 100 docking stations, all within walking distance from one another in Singapore's upcoming second CBD. They had called a tender to defray costs for the service, and was slated for a trial run end of this year. It sounded like a great idea to move Singapore towards becoming car lite, but with so many privately funded, dockless bike-sharing start-ups wheeling their way into Singapore this year, they decided to "reassess its bicycle-sharing plans, and [...] not to award the Jurong Lake District bicycle-sharing tender." It's probably for the best too, since the aim of the three bike-sharing start-ups overlaps with LTA's. Their docking station bike-sharing scheme would be redundant, given how all three have promised to roll out thousands of bikes to many more locations in the next couple of months. Who knows, maybe they’ll come up with something revolutionary? Ingenious ideas take time to manifest afterall.
For more than five years, all you'd see on Bencoolen Street—besides the cool nonchalant artsy-type students from the nearby schools—were rows and rows of hoardings. But they've been taken down and part of the magic going on behind has been revealed. The street now comes with much more pedestrian-friendly features, not just for pedestrians but for cyclists too. The sidewalk is now much wider to cater to the dedicated cycling path and 125 bicycle parking spaces along the street. There are still parts of the 450-meter stretch of road that are still closed off though, and they'll only come down after the Bencoolen MRT station is ready later this year.
After two and a half years of works, the once-sealed up Pang Sua Pond in Bukit Panjang is finally open to public. It's now Singapore's second largest man-made floating wetland attraction in Singapore, boasting a 480-meter-long boardwalk that's seven meters above the pond. You're not supposed to cycle on it, but you can cycle around the whole pond and to the connecting park on the opposite end from the Bukit Panjang Road side. If you hop off your bike and take a stroll down the boardwalk, you'll see a beautiful landscape of wetland plants like the fragrant pandan and water canna, all of which "help improve water quality and [...] create a habitat for dragonflies, birds and fishes." It’s a place to check out if you’re running out of places to venture out to.
Remember your younger years when you'd go "night cycling" with your friends from ECP all the way to Changi Village via that long stretch of road where you can see planes take off and land? Well it's going to be closed to make way for Changi Airport's third runway and the upcoming Terminal 5. However, LTA will be widening and extending the existing Tanah Merah Coast Road that will come with a two meter-wide lane dedicated to cyclists (wide enough for two people to cycle side-by-side). This will be Singapore's second on-road bicycle lanes being built; the first was on Sentosa. However, LTA stated that they currently have no plans to build more of these lanes in Singapore. While such an adventure may seem very unlikely on your to-do list, perhaps this might be a more effective alternative to get to Changi Exhibition Centre for future concert events instead of being stuck in a car, cab or bus.