More than 1,300km of cycling paths islandwide by 2030: Lam Pin Min

Boys ride their bicycles along the Marina Bay promenade in Singapore on October 10, 2019. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP) (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Cyclists along the Marina Bay promenade in Singapore. (Photo by Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will accelerate the building of cycling path networks and active mobility infrastructure across Singapore over the next 10 years, under a new Islandwide Cycling Network (ICN) programme.

Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min said during his speech at his ministry’s Committee of Supply debate in Parliament on Thursday (5 March) that, by 2023, there will be 800km of cycling paths in Singapore.

This milestone is brought forward from the previous target of building 750km of cycling paths by 2025. Singapore’s current cycling path network spans 440km.

“By 2023, all HDB towns will have cycling paths,” he said. “All HDB residents will have direct access to a wider cycling path network that is almost double the existing network.

“Residents can look forward to the cycling path plans for their towns within the year. LTA is working closely with government agencies and local communities to ensure that the cycling path network meets the needs of residents.”

Which towns will have cycling paths built first?

Lam added that towns which currently lack cycling paths or have many active mobility device users will have cycling paths built first. These towns are: Bukit Batok, Bukit Merah, Bukit Timah, Clementi, Geylang, Hougang, Jurong West, Kallang/Whampoa, Marine Parade, Queenstown, Sengkang and Serangoon.

Residents in Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Bukit Panjang, Taman Jurong and Tampines towns will benefit from better active mobility connectivity as construction will be completed on sections of cycling paths in these towns by this year. Construction of cycling paths in Toa Payoh will also begin this year.

Looking forward, LTA will commence construction of cycling paths in Choa Chu Kang and Woodlands in 2021. New cycling paths in Geylang and Queenstown connecting existing Park Connector Networks to the city centre will also be completed in 2021.

LTA’s preliminary estimate is that such investments to build the ICN will cost more than $1 billion.

Network expanded to 1,320km by 2030

By 2026, Singapore’s cycling path network will be expanded to 1,000km, whereby eight in 10 HDB residents will be living minutes away from their cycling path network. By 2030, Singapore’s cycling path network will be expanded to 1,320km which will provide comprehensive connectivity for all active mobility users.

“Most HDB residents will be within 250m from the nearest cycling path,” Lam said. “This cycling path density is comparable to cities such as Amsterdam or Copenhagen. HDB residents can expect to reach their nearest town centre within 20 minutes using active mobility modes.

“The expanded cycling path network will allow more inter-town journeys to be carried out entirely on cycling paths. Active mobility device users can look forward to a safer and more seamless riding experience, with fewer interruptions.”

Enhancing safety on footpaths

In addition to the ICN Programme, LTA will also continue to facilitate improvements to enhance safety on footpaths for all path users.

These include the widening of footpaths, the installation of warning signs or markings and other speed-calming measures to remind active mobility device users to take the necessary precautions in areas where there are more interactions with pedestrians.

Wider traffic and bicycle crossings will also be built, along with active mobility infrastructure such as bicycle parking facilities.

“With the recent ban of e-scooters on footpaths, and enhanced regulatory regime on active mobility devices, path safety has improved,” Lam said.

“LTA has introduced regulations on companies, and continues to work closely with companies to encourage responsible behaviour by their riders. One requirement is that companies must ensure that all riders they hire in the course of work have third-party liability insurance. LTA will specify minimum requirements for these insurance policies.

“We are (also) introducing a mandatory theory test for all e-scooter and PAB (power-assisted bicycle) riders to educate and raise awareness. We have also enhanced the penalties to strengthen deterrence against offences like speeding and reckless riding.

“LTA will not hesitate to take these errant riders to task.”

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