Allow only one direction for PMDs on walkways

Women riding e-scooters on the pavement.
Women riding e-scooters on the pavement.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Nowadays, pedestrians no longer feel safe on pedestrian paths due to personal mobility device (PMD) users moving in both directions on already narrow paths.

Very often, PMD users have to pass each other, causing pedestrians to have to dodge onto the grass patches next to the pedestrian paths.

An oncoming PMD user may also move into the path of a pedestrian to avoid another PMD user approaching from the opposite direction.

The pedestrian's natural instinct is to avoid the oncoming PMD, but in doing so, he may step into the path of the other PMD closing in from behind.

Unlike vehicles, we do not have rear-view mirrors to see what is approaching from behind us.

I have been in this situation at least twice in the past few months, putting me inches away from a terrible accident.

So I ask that PMD users be allowed to travel in only one direction, the same as that of traffic. This is something that has been practised by Dutch cyclists for years.

This would also help to protect people at bus stops, which is an issue that others have raised (PMD use: People at bus stops need protection, by Mr Ong Yao Min, June 21; and Make PMD users dismount near bus stops, by Mr Shaik Kadir, June 25).

People at bus stops would be able to see approaching PMDs since they would be coming from the same direction as the buses, and not have to worry about what is behind them when they step forward to flag a bus.

Brennen Pak Hoe Peng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2019, with the headline 'Allow only one direction for PMDs on walkways'. Print Edition | Subscribe