Resolve inconsistencies in cycling, pedestrian paths

As we expand our cycling paths in housing estates and the city, I hope there will be some improvements to the design, construction and use of the bicycle paths.

First, the design of cycling paths should be consistent.

I have seen many inconsistent designs, such as the location of the cycling path and pedestrian path in relation to the main road.

Sometimes, the cycling path is closer to the main road; sometimes, the pedestrian path is. The paths even criss-cross at certain points.

When the cycling path is farther away from the main road vis-a-vis the pedestrian path, pedestrians will walk on the cycling path as it is away from vehicular traffic and perceived to be safer. This leads to conflict between cyclists and pedestrians.

Another inconsistency is the materials used to pave the cycling path and pedestrian path. Some parts of the path have a tarred surface and others have a concrete surface. This inconsistency takes away a key visual cue, where tarred surfaces are associated with cycling paths and concrete surfaces are associated with pedestrian paths.

Also, the construction of cycling paths should be coordinated among the various government agencies and town councils.

I have seen cases where the cycling path is constructed and then parts of it demolished to make way for the building of bus stops or for drainage works.

We should also start an education effort to establish conventions on the use of cycling paths and pedestrian paths.

For both dedicated and shared paths, cyclists and pedestrians should always keep left. Overtaking should always be done on the right, with a polite and audible signal to the cyclist or pedestrian in front.

This will eliminate the need to swerve to avoid collisions. Both cyclists and pedestrians should not block the path by travelling abreast, especially on narrow shared paths.

I hope these suggestions will make for an improved cycling and walking culture for all.

Edward Lim