SINGAPORE – There are now another 6km of cycling paths in the Central Business District (CBD), linking popular areas like the Marina Barrage with transport nodes and workplaces, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Sunday morning.
The new cycling paths connect workplaces and amenities to MRT stations, including those on the new Thomson-East Coast Line, and places such as Tanjong Pagar Plaza, Lau Pa Sat, Market Street Hawker Centre and Hong Lim Complex, said Transport Minister S. Iswaran at a launch event in Tanjong Pagar on Sunday.
The paths are part of plans to expand Singapore’s cycling network across the island, he said.
“Here in the Central Business District and heritage district, there is great potential to make walking and cycling the preferred way to get around. This is not just about improving infrastructure and connectivity, which is important in its own right, but also improving the urban landscape and enhancing identity,” said Mr Iswaran in a speech at the launch.
With the addition of the new paths, there are now 21km of cycling paths and park connectors in the area. Work began on the new set of paths in 2018.
Mr Iswaran said that having more walking and cycling in these areas will require more support infrastructure, including bicycle parking and facilities such as showers and lockers.
LTA hopes to encourage this through its Active Commute Grant, which funds up to 80 per cent of the construction costs for such facilities, up to a maximum of $80,000 per development.
Mr Iswaran said: “We are glad to see more interest from developers supporting active commutes. For instance, GuocoLand and CapitaLand have been strong advocates of active mobility, and they have facilitated the provision of cycling paths and other cycling infrastructure as part of their developments.”
There are 4,800 public bicycle parking spaces around the area, said LTA, including 120 new ones added by removing 12 street carpark spaces. This follows a trial in late 2019 where LTA converted two roadside car parking spaces in Jiak Chuan Road in Chinatown into bicycle parking spaces.
Mr Iswaran added that the provision of such paths is part of Singapore’s strategy to encourage people to walk or cycle in their commute – a core strategy in making the transport sector greener and more sustainable to contribute to the country’s overall goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Tanjong Pagar resident Ganesan Kulandai, 67, said on the sidelines of the event that the new paths make cycling easier and safer for enthusiasts like himself.
Mr Ganesan was part of a group of about 50 – including Mr Iswaran – who set off on a riding tour of the new paths as part of Sunday’s launch event, undeterred by a light drizzle and overcast skies.
The senior project manager in an electrical company has been living in the area for more than 40 years, and has been cycling for most of them as a hobby and a means of getting around.
Mr Ganesan, who also leads community outreach to promote cycling, said: “These new paths are very good and as interest in cycling increases in Singapore, we will need more of them.
“We also need more parking spaces and more safe areas like these for cyclists.”
In a statement, LTA said it is looking at adding more cycling paths within the central area, “across Orchard, Newton, River Valley, Rochor and Outram”.