New scheme to promote safe sharing of pathways

Volunteers under Active Mobility Patrol to pitch responsible cycling in Toa Payoh

Mr Supaat (left), an MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, with Active Mobility Patrol members (in yellow vests) and another volunteer reaching out to a cyclist about road safety.
Mr Supaat (left), an MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, with Active Mobility Patrol members (in yellow vests) and another volunteer reaching out to a cyclist about road safety. PHOTO: ALICIA CHAN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Cyclists who speed along footpaths are a common gripe for Mr Rajendran Rajaram's 70-year-old mother, who is afraid they may cause her to fall and injure herself.

Her concerns have spurred her son, a managing director, into conducting voluntary patrols around Toa Payoh East-Novena to educate cyclists about responsible and gracious behaviour.

Mr Rajendran, 51, is one of 16 volunteers who are making footpaths safer for pedestrians under a new Active Mobility Patrol scheme launched by the constituency's grassroots organisations yesterday.

Mr Saktiandi Supaat, an MP for the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, said many residents have complained about cyclists who go too fast, especially on footpaths.

"It's good to educate residents who are using (those mobility devices) on footpaths to be careful and aware of the rules," he said.

The People's Association Community Emergency Response Team volunteers, along with grassroots volunteers and community partners, will also aim to educate users of personal mobility devices, including skateboards, hoverboards and kick scooters.

The volunteers will be stationed at eight hot spots with high pedestrian flow such as bus stops and traffic junctions near public transport nodes.

Users could be asked to push their bikes in crowded areas, switch on the lights of their mobility devices when it gets dark and give way to pedestrians.

Last month, the Government accepted a recommendation from an expert panel looking into active mobility issues to legalise cycling on footpaths.

Riding a bicycle or electric scooter on footpaths could be allowed by the end of this year.

The moves are geared at encouraging safe and harmonious sharing of paths, with the Government hoping to shift more people to alternative modes of transport and transform Singapore into a car-lite nation.

Volunteers with the Active Mobility Patrol scheme will not be required to carry out enforcement. This will be undertaken by the Land Transport Authority's (LTA) Active Mobility Enforcement Officers. More details will be announced in coming months.

The LTA said that the scheme could be launched in other constituencies, including Nee Soon, Jurong and Tanjong Pagar, which have expressed interest.

Mr Rashid Hussein, 74, who has been living in Toa Payoh East-Novena for more than 30 years, said not all cyclists or users of personal mobility devices are errant, but the scheme could reach those who are.

The retired human resources officer said: "Singapore is limited by space and it is expected that we have to share paths as it's not possible to have separate paths. This is a good initiative to alert cyclists."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 01, 2016, with the headline New scheme to promote safe sharing of pathways. Subscribe