Sunday, April 04, 2010

Electric vehicles for short distance travel

More people are now using bicycles for short trips, e.g. to the MRT station. They have to use pedestrian walkways as there are no separate lanes for bicycles and it is dangerous to cycle on the main roads. Pedestrians have complained about the safety hazard.

Some cyclists have asked for separate lanes to be provided for them. However, this is not an efficient solution. If more people cycle to the MRT station, there will be insufficient parking space for the bicycles and the risk of theft and vandalism. Bicycles are not suitable for rainy days.

A better system is to use small electrically driven vehicles (like a golf cart) on a for time based hiring.  The vehicles can be parked in various locations in a town and used by the public (who have to register as members) to move from one station to another. This system requires the initiative of the town council to provide parking spaces and to have separate paths for the vehicles.

Paris is implementing such a system.

Tan Kin Lian


Hiei said...

yes, my bicycle got stolen even when it is locked! I locked the front wheel to the designated bike park, but end up the front wheel was removed from the whole bike, leaving the front wheel there while the body of the bike was gone!

Anonymous said...

REX comments as follows,

The biggest problem with Singapore is the ONE SIZE FITS ALL mentality. It is like GST, and Property Tax: one shot implementation, no fine tuning for the poor who are more seriously affected. We have talked many times about tweaking, adjusting the system, so that certain items are not taxed, or certain groups are exempted. This is what creativity is all about, not YES and NO solutions.

Same with bicycles!!
Land space is limited in singapore. Many times, pedestrian walkways are quite empty, why can't bicyles use them, provided they observe basic safety rules (no speeding, give way to pedestrians)? The authorities can only see black and white, allow or disallow. Can't they be more imaginative: allow under certain conditions (e.g. time of day, size of bicycle, etc. etc).

The argument that bicyles are dangerous for pedesrians using walkways, is just as lame as the view that motorists are dangerous for bicycles on the main road. Danger is eveywhere. Why penalise the bicyclist and throw him to the roads where he is endagnered more, in the same way as a pedestrian sees himself endangered?

The solution to the problem is to understand the idea that the strong must give a thought to the weak. In a main road, motorists must spare a thought for motorcyclists, and motorcyclists must spare a thought to bicylists, and so bicylcists must spare a thought to pedestrians. It is common sense. Fine he errant parties by all means. But imposing a ban is really a one size fit all Toad Mentaliy.

In the absence of land, and in view that cycling is a green activiy, I think it regrettable to penalise bicycliss. I was shocked to read today in the papers, that there is a current law of $1000 fine for any cyclist using pedestrian paths. This is really really ridiculous.


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