Why It Matters

Cycling towards a car-lite society

New guidelines requiring all new private developments to provide bicycle parking should provide a shot in the arm for Singapore's drive towards a car-lite society.

The standards took effect on Tuesday, and mandate that a minimum number of bicycle parking spaces, which will vary according to the property type and the zone it is sited on, be built by developers.

These apply to a gamut of properties - from residential and commercial buildings, to industrial developments, healthcare facilities, community centres and foreign worker dormitories.

Developers who submit applications to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) for new buildings or redevelopment projects must include provisions for bicycle parking or face having their plans rejected.

The aim is to get more people here to consider cycling as a means of commuting or getting around their neighbourhoods.

About a quarter of all households in Singapore own bicycles, with about 125,000 people using them for their daily commutes.

The new standards follow a move by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and URA two years ago which required developers to submit a "walking and cycling plan" as part of their development plans.

In their designs, developers must show that they have factored in safety, convenience and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists.

The URA's and LTA's mandatory bicycle parking provisions are an even bolder step.

 

While bicycles can be parked almost anywhere, having more designated parking spaces will help to clean up the visual clutter of randomly parked two-wheelers.

Having them in all new private developments ties in with the Government's plan to have an islandwide cycling network of 700km by 2030, which includes biking paths in all Housing Board towns, park connectors and inter-town routes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2018, with the headline 'Cycling towards a car-lite society'. Print Edition | Subscribe