Team lauded for tackling indiscriminate bike parking

Ms Eileen Chan, chairman of the Nee Soon Central Active Mobility Patrol team, receiving an award in the community category on behalf of her team from Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu at the Municipal Services Awards event yesterday.
Ms Eileen Chan, chairman of the Nee Soon Central Active Mobility Patrol team, receiving an award in the community category on behalf of her team from Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu at the Municipal Services Awards event yesterday.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

Bicycles were parked indiscriminately around Yishun MRT station, blocking walkways and hard courts, so community volunteers took matters into their own hands.

The Nee Soon Central Active Mobility Patrol (AMP) team, working with the police, the Land Transport Authority, the town council and the National Parks Board, addressed the problem by educating cyclists and relocating the bicycles to a fenced area in front of the MRT station, with instructions left behind for owners to collect them.

"It's very unsightly, causes obstruction and inconveniences the residents," said Ms Eileen Chan, chairman of the AMP team.

Ms Chan, who is in her 70s and self-employed in the service sector, said it is also a safety issue, as people may trip on these bicycles, especially on rainy days.

Thanks to the team's efforts, the number of bicycles found to be parked indiscriminately fell from more than 200 in a month to about 20 within five months of the start of the programme in May last year.

The project was cited by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu as an example of how communities can take the lead in solving their own municipal problems.

At yesterday's Municipal Services Awards 2019, held at Gardens by the Bay, the AMP team, which runs the Community-Led Bicycle Education Programme, received an award in the community category.

The annual awards, which began in 2015, recognise the delivery of municipal services and inter-agency efforts in solving problems in estates. This year, there were 23 winners from three categories - community, team and individual.

  • 110

  • Number of nominations received for the annual awards this year, almost three times the figure in 2015.

Thanks to the team's efforts, the number of bicycles found to be parked indiscriminately fell from more than 200 in a month to about 20 within five months of the start of the programme in May last year.

Ms Fu, who was guest of honour at the event, said: "The number of nominations has been increasing. This year alone, we received 110 nominations, almost three times what we received in our first year."

She also announced that the OneService app, which lets residents report municipal issues without having to find out which government agency to approach, will be updated over the next few months to include two new features.

The app, introduced in January 2015, had more than 190,000 downloads as of Sept 30 this year.

The first new feature is a survey tool for government agencies and town councils to poll residents on issues such as colour schemes for repainting projects.

 
 

The second feature is called Community Challenge, which encourages residents to take action to solve their own problems.

For example, when a resident provides feedback on mosquito-breeding cases, he will be challenged by the app to share information on preventing mosquito breeding while the agencies tackle the issue.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 18, 2019, with the headline 'Team lauded for tackling indiscriminate bike parking'. Print Edition | Subscribe