Have clearly separate tracks for pedestrians and PMDs

Photographs of the scene of the accident in Bedok North show bloodstains on the pavement next to the cycling path.
Photographs of the scene of the accident in Bedok North show bloodstains on the pavement next to the cycling path.PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

News of the accident involving Madam Ong Bee Eng and an e-scooter in Bedok North prompted me to write in (Cyclist in coma after crash with e-scooter, Sept 23).

I was the victim of a similar accident last year. A personal mobility device (PMD) knocked into me at a bus stop after it crossed the road against the flow of traffic.

The rider refused to pay my medical bills, saying that he had no money.

I am still undergoing follow-up treatments.

One would think that the many accidents involving PMDs and bicycles would have prompted the authorities to act to stop the danger on pedestrian walkways.

Yet, to my dismay, I saw last month a "shared-track" sign at cross junctions near Khatib MRT station. The walkway there is already marked as a footpath on one side and a bicycle lane on the other. Even so, riders do not heed the markings.

So it is unlikely that they will heed the new sign and share the track.

Allowing PMDs and bicycles on the walkway will risk more accidents occurring.

During a work trip to Brussels, Belgium, 20 years ago, I saw a bicycle lane, wide enough for two bikes, separated from a footpath by a divider. Everyone could move about safely - no honking, no shouting, no cursing.

The authorities should consider this arrangement even as more PMDs zoom about, many of them being used to deliver food orders.

Meanwhile, my prayers are with Madam Ong.

Nerina Mak

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2019, with the headline 'Have clearly separate tracks for pedestrians and PMDs'. Print Edition | Subscribe