ST CloseUp: Cyclists versus pedestrians in battle of the sidewalks

In tiny Singapore, the fight for space is never-ending. The latest conflict, it seems, is on the pavements.

SINGAPORE - In January 2021, an eight-year-old girl was walking home from school when a cyclist knocked her down. The collision, which happened along a footpath in Bukit Batok, left the child covered in blood and shards of glass from her shattered spectacles.

The apologetic cyclist, an 18-year-old food delivery rider, was arrested on suspicion of a negligent act causing grievous hurt. The girl has since undergone two surgical procedures. Investigations are ongoing.

The unfortunate incident is not an isolated one.

Serious collisions like this have plagued Singapore's overcrowded sidewalks since bicycles and personal mobility devices (PMDs) were allowed on them in 2016. With the authorities giving PMDs the boot in 2019 because of mounting safety concerns, should bicycles be the next to go? CloseUp looks at the struggle for space on sidewalks across Singapore.

CloseUp, an investigative video series by The Straits Times, takes a deeper look at issues that hit close to home.