In a “edgy” country such as Singapore, which generally embraces so rapidly trends from all across the world, the absence of bicycle lanes was until now rather surprising. But changes are in the air with the City State officially dedicating its first proper lane to bicycles a few days ago. Singapore first bike lane is highly symbolic: it spans only a 400-meter stretch of Sentosa Island but Singapore government is promising that the bicycle lane network around Sentosa will be mostly completed by next year. The Straits Times reported that a majority of cycling enthusiasts were pumping their fists in victory when looking at the first coat of green painting on Sentosa roads, marking the dedicated lanes.
Dedicated lanes for bikes, separated from both traffic and pedestrians, have so far faced resilience from the Singapore Government. Although a few lanes have been opened for bicycles in some of Singapore outer districts, the government continues until today to give priority to the fluidity of cars’ traffic and to an expanding public transport system. Although both are important, the Singapore Government only starts to realize the rising demand of Singaporean citizens for a proper bicycle network system. Singapore now considers to link the entire island through a network of bike lanes, mostly off main roads. Singapore National Cycling Plan speaks about the possibility to offer some 700 km of bike lanes… however around 2030!
This is a long time to wait and it is possible that the country might now speed up the implementation of bike lanes more rapidly. Most experts estimate that bicycle lanes could now rapidly appear on low-traffic neighbourhood roads. The emergence of a proper bicycle lanes network would certainly be followed by other cities across Southeast Asia.
Bangkok so far has been among the first ASEAN cities to offer a small network of dedicated bike lanes. However due to a lack of monitoring, most of the lanes serve now to the stationing of food carts…