Barter taking bicycles seriously as transport

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Presentation calling for better bicycle policy in Singapore. June 2008

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  • Image by “Cory” on Wikimedia Commons (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Cory) Emotional objective? Positive attitude to bicycles as transport Factual objective: Bicycles as opportunity rather than irritant ... They have a NICHE that is difficult to fill any other way ... Doing much better is possible... But only if we are serious about trying. Different places try different things ... Because their local conditions are different. So Singapore may need to innovate. But need to be serious about it. Mention polarised conflict over where to accommodate bicycles: separation versus forester-style just use the mainstream main roads. ... Both problematic. Middle-ground? Amazing things could happen with leadership. Best way to get that leadership quickly? LTA to set up a small bicycle unit (even ONE traffic engineer full time on bicycle transport could do wonders) Congratulations to Tampines TC for doing their very best. But really, no TC can be expected to solve bicycle dilemmas on its own, without guidance, advice, support ... 15 minutes only ...
  • Neglect has turned bicycles into a problem, rather than an opportunity
  • Neglect has turned bicycles into a problem, rather than an opportunity
  • Neglect has turned bicycles into a problem, rather than an opportunity
  • Neglect has turned bicycles into a problem, rather than an opportunity
  • By comparison walking is 3 to 6 km/h Jogging 8-12 km/h So most bicycle users can easily cover 3 km in 15 minutes
  • Random trips of 1-4 km are a long walk; slow by bus or MRT usually (walking + waiting time); easy by car (but parking may be hassle and cost); only 35% of households in Singapore have a car); OK by taxi but costly and may be difficult to get one when you want one. Even without any real official encouragement (and many difficulties), there is significant cycling for short trips (1-3 km) and to access MRT in places like Tampines, Pasir Ris, Bedok, Jurong West, Sembawang … If you only focus on that category of trip, bikes have significant % already (maybe 10 or 20%?) But of course, not everyone wants to cycle.
  • Even though the only ORGANISED bicycle groups represent fast cyclists ...
  • Use a google map image of tampines area with circles drawn at 1 and 2 km
  • Does NOT mean pushing anyone to cycle who does not want to!
  • Concluding Remarks Bicycles now a problem for other road users and pedestrians when they could be an opportunity Bicycles extremely useful for trips of 1 to 3 km (slowly, without athletic effort) It should not take much money or space to make slow cycling much safer, much easier, and much less of a problem
  • Barter taking bicycles seriously as transport

    1. 1. Paul Barter, Assistant Professor, LKY School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore Presented at ‘Tampines Town Hall Forum: Cycling the Way Forward?’ 8 June 2008 at the Tampines East Community Centre Let’s Take Bicycles Seriously Image by “Cory” on Wikimedia Commons (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Cory)
    2. 2. Have bicycles been taken seriously? All photos copyright Paul Barter unless stated otherwise
    3. 3. Failing to plan for bicycles in Singapore has turned them into a nuisance
    4. 4. Bicycles missing from road design priorities
    5. 5. Some good efforts: but half-hearted, poor coordination, no clear guidelines or goals
    6. 6. But what do bicycle users need anyway? It is not obvious
    7. 7. Fast and slow bicycle users have different needs <ul><li>Fast (20-40 km/h) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Middle-distance transport or commuting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recreation/fun </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sport </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Slow (~8-20 km/h) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Short distance transport or commuting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recreation/fun </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Fast cycling Practical for trips of 4 km to 25 km Arterial roads cannot be avoided Requires skill and confidence in traffic This deters most people Photo by Chuwa
    9. 9. Slow cycling Suits 1 to 5 km trips Bicycle very attractive for such trips if the environment is made conducive
    10. 10. Slow cycling (1 to 5 km trips)
    11. 11. Slow cycling (10 km or more OK for leisurely recreational rides)
    12. 12. Bicycle policy controversy: One side focuses on making FAST cycling safer (via education, wide kerbside lanes, etc) Image copyright www.cycle-safety.com
    13. 13. The other side (dominant in Europe) focuses on protecting slow/timid bicycle users and Images by Zaitun Mohamed Kasim
    14. 14. Which is most important for Singapore? SLOW CYCLING! An opportunity to fill a “gap” in the mobility options for many people
    15. 15. At a very gentle 10 km/h: 2 km in 12 minutes
    16. 16. Helping cycling is NOT just about bike paths or bike lanes Source: London Cycling Design Standards book, p. 62
    17. 17. Examples: Germany Source: John Pucher, “Cycling for Everyone: Key to Public and Political Support,&quot; keynote address at the 2007 National Bike Summit, League of American Bicyclists, Washington, DC, March 16, 2007 ” (http://policy.rutgers.edu/faculty/pucher/)
    18. 18. Examples: Germany Source: John Pucher, “Cycling for Everyone: Key to Public and Political Support,&quot; keynote address at the 2007 National Bike Summit, League of American Bicyclists, Washington, DC, March 16, 2007 ” (http://policy.rutgers.edu/faculty/pucher/)
    19. 19. Examples: Japan
    20. 20. Examples: Japan
    21. 21. Examples: Japan
    22. 22. Examples: Japan
    23. 23. Of course, we will need Singapore-relevant solutions We won’t find them until we start taking bicycles seriously
    24. 24. Bicycle policy in Singapore needs coordination I believe that the LTA would be the best entity to take up that responsibility <ul><ul><li>This image is copyright LTA (from the Land Transport Master Plan 2008) </li></ul></ul>

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