Why is there a need to expand the cycling paths in Singapore (Over 20 roads to be assessed for space to provide cycling paths, Feb 22)?
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) needs to provide the rationale and justification before embarking on such a programme.
LTA needs to have reasonably good information on the cyclist population - that is, whether they are recreational riders or those who use bicycles as a primary means of transport - and their usage patterns or behaviours before deciding on expanding cycling paths.
As there is no registration requirement for conventional bikes or cyclists, there may not be enough data that could be meaningfully used to accurately predict and plan for current and future requirements.
It was reported that LTA is seeking engineering services to design the cycling paths and related infrastructure.
This seems to indicate that LTA is already at an advanced stage of planning. This also means that it must have conducted extensive research to verify or validate the assumptions and criteria used in the tender exercise.
And there must be a proper cost-benefit analysis done to justify the expansion. For example, what would the consequences be if the cycling network were not expanded?
Effective and proper management of shared paths must be a central consideration for the expansion plan.
This is because it can have a tremendous impact on other road users, particularly when it comes to potential accidents, injuries and fatalities.
There must be clear and strict rules or laws which are easily and fully enforceable.
Clearly, the proper management of a network of shared paths will be a huge challenge.
Tony Lim Thiam Poh