When I say “cycling”, the first thing that probably comes to your mind is riding a rented bicycle at East Coast Park. You endure a one hour bus journey and a 30-minute trek to the bike rental shop in exchange for two hours of pedalling by the sea.
If that’s what comes to mind, we invite you to think again.
With LTA’s new Walk Cycle Ride SG initiative, you can move happy anywhere and everywhere thanks to newly-built walking and cycling infrastructure. Whether you scoot for fun or take the bike for your first-mile-last-mile commute, life is about to become a lot more colourful.
Bicycle parking goes under
Underground car parks are pretty common here, but I am very excited to see Singapore’s first “Fully Automated Underground Bicycle Parking System”.
The underground bicycle parking is located in Kampung Admiralty and will open in the third quarter of 2017. To park, you simply push your bicycle into an automated lift. Once the lift door closes, your bicycle goes on a subterranean journey down the cylindrical shaft where it will be automatically sorted to an empty parking space.
To retrieve your bicycle, all you need to do is tap your EZLINK or credit card and voila, your bicycle reappears from the underground labyrinth.
The parking system can hold up to 500 bicycles at any time and it was inspired by similar systems found in Japan and Spain. It also protects your bicycles from theft and the weather elements.
Ang Mo Kio embrace its bicycles
Ang Mo Kio is one of the older estates in Singapore, but we’ve breathed new life into the area by turning it into a model cycling and walking town, complete with active mobility infrastructure.
One of the new highlights you can find there is Ang Mo Kio avenue 8’s sheltered linear park – where pedestrians and cyclists alike can enjoy the following attractions:
Bottles of street art
No park is complete without verdant landscapes and a variety of exotic flora and fauna. Ang Mo Kio’s linear park is no exception – it contains butterfly-attracting plants, flowers of every colour and even a terrarium with carnivorous pitcher plants and orchids.
Get off your bicycle and smell the gardenias to brighten up your day!
This blue canal thing you see alongside the viaduct’s staircase is not a longkang. It’s a bicycle wheeling ramp that allows you to push your bike up and down the stairs. Say goodbye to bicep strain forever because there’s no need to carry your bicycle.
The AMK-YCK link
We’re not done yet for Ang Mo Kio’s transport makeover.
For phase 2 of the area’s transformation, the town is getting a 1.8km elevated pedestrian and cycling corridor that connects Ang Mo Kio MRT Station to the much smaller Yio Chu Kang Station. This corridor will resemble New York’s High Line because it runs next to the MRT viaduct and is elevated above street level, so you can avoid all traffic crossings and red lights. An additional 16km-long cycling path network will also be added to Ang Mo Kio’s current 4km-long infrastructure.
Whether you’re a Nanyang Polytechnic student who’s heading to Ang Mo Kio hub or a resident who wants to swim at Yio Chu Kang’s sports facilities, enjoy a faster and smoother journey to your destination.
With the introduction of intra-town cycling networks, there’s now an alternative mode to travel. Instead of taking the bus to see your friend who is a few stops away, you can get on your bike for a breezy pedal to your destination.
If you’re meeting your friend for dinner, it’s a great way to burn off the calories so you can order even more food!
Upcoming networks include a Hougang-Buangkok MRT link, a Promenade-Bayfront link and the Jurong Lake District project, which will open in July this year.
The Ben-COOL-en project
When Bencoolen Street was closed for the construction of Downtown Line, it was the perfect opportunity to make Bras Basah.Bugis more pedestrian and cyclist friendly.
After its renovation, a dedicated cycling path will connect Rochor Canal to the upcoming North-South Corridor. To accommodate potential bike traffic, the precinct will also enjoy 125 newly-built bicycle parking lots. They can be found near the Bencoolen MRT station, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Bayview Hotel and V Hotel.
However, this Bencoolen cycling path is just a small part of a much grander scheme – the Central Area cycling network. This network of cycling paths will achieve two things. Firstly, it will connect key districts in the city centre, like the Civic District and the Central Business District. Secondly, it will connect the heartlands to our city centre, making it easier for commuters to cycle from home to work and back again.
And to wrap it all up…
Gone are the days when you have to endure a bumpy ride on pavements cracked by overgrowing tree roots. By 2030, every town in Singapore will be like my beloved Ang Mo Kio, a cycling paradise complete with abundant bicycle parking, bicycle crossings and dedicated bicycle lanes so you can get wherever you want in less time and with less bell-ringing.
Now, the only decision you have to make is between an e-scooter and a bicycle.