Cyclists cheer Singapore's first on-road cycling lane

Retiree and cycling enthusiast Allan Yeo making use of the new on-road cycling lane along Tanah Merah Coast Road. (PHOTO: Yahoo Singapore / Stefanus Ian)

Avid cyclists turned up in full force at the opening of the new on-road cycling lane on Sunday (22 April) along the newly extended Tanah Merah Coast Road, with many applauding the move by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

Demarcated by raised chevron markings and a width of approximately two metres, the cyclist-only lane is the first of its kind in Singapore. The lane was first opened on Saturday evening and by Sunday morning, many cycling enthusiasts were already using the lane, according to cyclist Hong Kin Boon, who frequents the route around the area every week.

“When I ride today, there is quite a lot of people cycling, more than I’ve ever seen,” said the 37-year-old engineer, who rode his recumbent bicycle on the lane.

“It’s a totally new experience to cycle where the vehicle will just go past you, giving you quite a good distance so I think this is a very good improvement for this country.”

In an earlier press release,  the LTA mentioned that the width of the lane is wide enough to cater for two cyclists abreast but some of the cyclists that Yahoo Singapore spoke to said it is safer to cycle in a single file and brought up their concerns about the raised chevron markings.

Riding on the edge

Allan Yeo, who cycles with a group of friends every Sunday, said on the stretches of the road that have tailwinds, the group can hit up to 45-50km/h on their road bikes. Having raised chevron markings on the road, therefore, can be dangerous for riders near the outer edge of the lane, he added.

“The outer rider might overrun and hit the hump, and cause instability, and lose your balance and might fall,” said the 55-year-old retiree, who was one of those who sent in requests to the LTA for the implementation of an on-road cycling lane.

But apart from that concern, Yeo is happy with the new on-road cycling lane, saying that it is much safer than cycling on the park connectors.

The LTA has said that the new cycling lanes are a one-off initiative but Yeo is hopeful that the government is now more open to catering to the cycling community.

One of his suggestions is to allow bus lanes to be converted into cycling lanes on weekends in areas that are frequented by cyclists or even adding more on-road cycling lanes at places like Lim Chu Kang Road.

“Not every road, but parts of the road where cyclists use to cycle on the weekends,” said Yeo.

“Other countries are doing similar (ideas), I think Singapore should adapt and get the idea and consult and see whether it is feasible.”

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