Tackle causes, not symptoms, of bike-sharing problem

I appreciate Mr Yum Shoen Liang's civic-mindedness in moving shared bicycles parked indiscriminately, so they do not block access for other people, and picking up shared bicycles he sees on the ground (Cycling can be way of life in S'pore again; Dec 4).

Unfortunately, this inadvertently encourages the unhealthy attitude that it is perfectly acceptable for someone else to clean up the mess that one leaves behind.

Rather than merely treating the symptoms of the problem, it would be more productive to identify and tackle its causes.

One cause is the lack of consideration by some users of shared bikes.

While this is disappointing, it is not unexpected.

For instance, many cyclists rode on pedestrian pathways even though it was illegal for them to do so.

There is also a disregard for safety and traffic rules, such as dismounting and pushing bicycles when crossing roads.

With little done to highlight accountability on the part of cyclists in the past, is it any wonder that such inconsideration should now manifest itself in yet another way?

Another cause is the lack of planning by the Land Transport Authority.

So far, its responses such as painting yellow boxes at bus stops appear to be piecemeal and wholly reactionary.

Rules and their effective enforcement, coupled with adequate infrastructure, ought to have been set up long before giving the green light for shared bicycles in Singapore.

Daniel Ng Peng Keat

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2017, with the headline 'Tackle causes, not symptoms, of bike-sharing problem'. Print Edition | Subscribe