Bicycle lanes may pose problems

If the Government plans to introduce on-road bicycle lanes, it must consider the move carefully as such an exercise is not without problems ("On-road cycling lanes being built on Sentosa"; Dec 23).

Bicycle lanes will tend to clog the already congested roads, slowing cars down and possibly causing accidents.

Can we be sure that bicycle lanes will not lead to more confusion at traffic junctions, resulting in greater conflict between road users?

They may, for instance, force cars to change lanes in an awkward manner or entice cyclists to filter to the front of the lane and possibly block motorists from turning.

While many argue that bicycle lanes are essential for cyclists' safety, some may also feel that bicycle lanes actually pose a greater threat to bicycle safety.

Riding within only bicycle lanes may get confusing at intersections, and may even increase the likelihood of a collision.

The width of Singapore roads conforms to the international standard, which is wide enough for heavy vehicles and buses to use.

The question is: What is the optimum width for bicycle lanes, and what is the effect these lanes will have on the space given to other vehicles on the roads?

If there are to be dedicated bicycle lanes, it may be time to enact clear rules on who has the right of way and who has to give way at traffic junctions.

Allowing bicycles on roads may also pose problems for cyclists, given that Singapore roads are not without defects such as potholes and cracks.

While cars, buses and heavy vehicles need not bother about such defects, it is not the same with bicycles.

These factors need to be taken into consideration if bicycle lanes are to extend beyond Sentosa.

Francis Cheng