Cycling in Singapore
There are 3 distinct demographics of cyclists on Singapore streets:
- lycra clad Road bikers
- Folks on electric bikes (usually "uncles")
- Others, people on unpowered, fixies or just the crappy bikes
I'm a proud "other", riding a somewhat unusual Flying Pigeon bicycle. Ironically taxi drivers tell me their fathers used to ride around like I do nowadays. Flying Pigeons a generation or two ago probably outnumbered vehicles. It's a real shame that Singaporeans have progressed to become childish monsters behind the driving wheel.
Yes, it's DANGEROUS to ride on Singaporean streets. Fellow Hackerspacer and Singaporean Wee Yeh would have me believe that some drivers are so annoyed by cyclists, that they would rather see them dead. :(
It reminds me of the bad old days of cycling in London, which is now a distant memory. A past when black cabbie drivers would scream abuse at you. Things have changed in London, can they change in Singapore?
Singapore is a rich country where the culture is not shy of showing that wealth. It's not uncommon to see Ferraris roaring down the same roads you might be attempting to cycle down. It costs so much to license a car to drive here, that I guess motorists treat cyclists with resentment.
What makes Singaporean drivers childish?
- do not use indicators
- switch lanes dangerously
- drive too fast
- not enough parking, so double / triple parking is not that unusual
- never give enough space
- dangerously cut you off at junctions is crazily common
- dangerous overtaking
- some seem to pretend you don't exist (totally unapologetic)
What's the solution?
http://www.savecycling.com is collecting bicycle incidents. Not as morbid as http://ghostbikes.org/singapore, though I generally see this as an after-the-fact "cure", instead of "prevention"... education.
Some serious Singaporean government vision is needed and since no Government ministers like Boris as far as I know seem to cycle, I don't see this improving. Anyway if I had the power, I would:
- introduce an education campaign to drivers
- more speed checks
- somehow police space given to cyclists
- encourage people to cycle. close streets. get children interested.
- any incidents involving cyclists, it's assumed to be the car drivers fault
- introduce some facilities to cyclists, like places to lock them up!