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New Year Resolution for 2008: Swim faster, Run longer, maybe return to cycling.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Singapore could follow suit if it claims to be First Class

Article from the International Herald Tribune points towards many cities, including 'First Class' ones, accepting and recognising the bicycle as another mode of transport.

Some excerpts from the article:

1. "London, Paris, Chicago, Bogota and Seoul have embarked on major campaigns to incorporate the bicycle into traffic grids. The results have led to substantial shifts in fuel consumption, commuting times and even real estate values."

2. "Cycling has become a primary mode of transport for 5% of the population [of Bogota (pop. 7 million) ], up from 0.1% when he [Enrique Penalosa, mayor of Bogota from 1998 to 2000] started. The share using the car as primary mode, by contrast, has fallen to 13% of the population from 17%."

3. "If all citizens are equal, urban policy should be democratic and not everyone has access to a motor car."

4. "London may be the greatest success story in the new wave... ... a surprising side effect was a 28% surge in cycling in the first year [since congestion charging was introduced in 2003]. The city says overall cycling mileage has doubled in the last 5 years and it aims to achieve another doubling."

5. "In some cases, merchants who were initially nervous actually saw sales rise as the population of more fluid bus and cycle lanes fed them more customers."

6. "What has also been discovered worldwide is that accident rates have dropped wherever cycling has gained momentum, as cars are forced to slow down and as they become more accustomed to sharing the road."

7. "What planners generally have discovered is that a little money spent on cycling infrastructure can go a long way, even though it may take time to produce results and they are not often easy to track statistically."

8. "Bogota's investments in cycling infrastructure eventually produced savings roughly seven times greater."

9. "The standard formula is that one automobile parking space can hold 10 bicycles."

10. "When such [bicycle] facilities are coordinated with rail systems, the volumes become impressive. Nearly 30% of Dutch rail passengers cycle to the station, and 12% then get on cycles again to reach their final destination."

So here it is: Here's something that the First Class Singapore government can seriously consider if it wants to keep up with the Joneses of other First Class cities.

It's really simple because the government has always preached about a world-class seamless transport system. If only they could recognise the bicycle as another mode of transport.

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