Need to allot much more space to park bicycles

It was disappointing to read that only 50,000 more bicycle parking areas will be added to the existing 170,000 by the year 2020 (Shared-bike parking will be located near homes, facilities; March 21).

I believe that if the authorities are serious about reaping the benefits of the shared-bicycle phenomenon, such as lower carbon emissions and a more active population, then the number of parking spaces needs to be increased significantly.

I hope that many of these new parking spaces will be near Housing Board blocks. There are already parking areas near many of the bus stops in Singapore, but I think that the facility can be extended to traffic junctions, especially along the island's Park Connector Network.

I think owners of commercial properties like JTC Corporation and Mapletree can also play a huge role by adding parking areas around their facilities.

The simple fact is that in hot and humid Singapore, people do not ride the shared bicycles as a lifestyle choice, but as a financial decision.

Thus any policy that inhibits this tends to impact people struggling financially.

The oil and gas industry has been a huge benefit to our economy over the decades, and there will be winners and losers with every change, but this is one opportunity for Singapore to take a greener path.

Decision-makers need to show that they are not out of touch with the users of these systems.

Perhaps individual estates can decide locally whether they want more bike parking spaces, perhaps right down to each HDB block.

Sng Woei Shyong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2018, with the headline 'Need to allot much more space to park bicycles'. Subscribe