More bicycle facilities, stricter rules needed

The measures announced in Parliament to allow bicycles and personal mobility devices (PMDs) on footpaths are reasonably well calibrated ("Bicycles, e-scooters may be allowed on footpaths by year end"; April 13).

They take into account the growth of bicycle and PMD usage and the safety of pedestrians, especially with the registration of e-bikes and enhanced enforcement.

While the measures will lead to more orderly interaction between riders and pedestrians, one important aspect is missing: There is a lack of proper parking places for bicycle riders.

Many cyclists park their bicycles indiscriminately by chaining them to lamp posts, railings, the pillars of walkway shelters, and other structures in HDB estates.

These bicycles also cause obstruction to pedestrians, especially in and around walkways leading to MRT stations and bus interchanges. This problem is further compounded when irresponsible owners abandon their old or broken-down bicycles at these structures.

I suggest the following:

- Provide more dedicated bicycle parking facilities around MRT stations, bus interchanges and town centres.

- All bicycles should be registered so that owners can be traced.

- Parking of bicycles at non-dedicated parking places should be strictly prohibited. Offenders will be subject to graduated monetary penalties, such as a fine of $10 for the first offence and heavier fines for subsequent violations. The registration of bicycles is necessary to enforce this prohibition.

- Owners who abandon their bicycles in public places will be subject to monetary penalties, besides the removal and disposal of their bicycles by the authorities.

We need a culture of responsible riding and bicycle ownership and to achieve this, some strong measures are sometimes needed.

Andrew Seow Chwee Guan

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