Fix cycling woes at parks

Ms Jessica Cheam's article ("S'pore, aim to be first tropical cycling city"; Aug 18) talks about how the mindsets of Singaporeans must be changed to make Singapore a better cycling city.

However, the mindset change must apply not only to road use for transport purposes, but also to parks around Singapore.

I recently made plans to cycle on a Sunday, but was disappointed when I found the cycling path at East Coast Park packed with people walking and running on it.

This experience raises a few issues about cycling in Singapore's parks.

First, are pedestrians really that oblivious to others around them using the park?

Second, are the rules of the parks being enforced enough to prevent such rash use of the paths?

Third, are the parks becoming more like shopping malls, with places like Parkland Green opening up, and less like recreation sites?

Finally, could all this be avoided if there was a Registry of Bicycles and all cyclists had to have a licence in order to ride?

Awareness campaigns are not enough. There has to be a carrot and/or stick approach, but not aimed towards punishing only cyclists - who, I must admit, do ride rashly sometimes - but also towards other park users who do not follow the "stick to the right track" signs placed all around the parks.

Some of the solutions to this problem include raising the speed limit at parks, which could make the cycling track a less attractive road for people to walk on; removing the dual-purpose walking/cycling track at Xtreme SkatePark so that people do not get confused; and placing physical barriers, such as more shrubs, along the tracks, to ensure that pedestrians can cross only at designated locations.

Bhargav Piyushkumar Singapuri

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2015, with the headline 'Fix cycling woes at parks'. Print Edition | Subscribe