Everyone knows that in Asia, bicycles are used quite frequently as a means of transportation. It’s even used in jokes occasionally, but it’s true. People do use bikes quite a bit, for quite a few reasons, here in Singapore at least. It’s cheaper, as opposed to buying, fueling, and maintaining a car. It’s also smaller and easier to park or store. In fact, there are some foldable bikes here that you can take on the buses with you. That could be perfect for a family outing to a nice park that you want to bike through, but that’s too far away to bike to. Plus, it’s a great way to get where you want to go and get some exercise at the same time.
The problem with having so many bike riders is that there’s rarely enough room to accommodate all of the parked bicycles, especially in major traffic hubs or around the malls. For example, if you go to the Tampines MRT area, you’ll see bicycles jammed in at the bike racks, but you’ll also see bicycles chained to poles, fences, gates, or basically anything that’s stuck to the ground. In some extreme cases you’ll find bicycles that aren’t chained to anything at all, but just have a chain through the wheel spokes instead, because there’s just no space available.
It all seemed crazy and amusing to me and I never really gave it any thought. Apparently, someone did though. At the Pasir Ris MRT station there are also bike racks, but the bike racks there are two tiered. I guess they figured that if there wasn’t enough horizontal space to accommodate all of the bicycles, they could go vertical with them. It looked like it worked well too. There was more space to park bikes, and as a result, the area looked a lot nicer and neater, which seems to be something Singapore as a whole looks highly upon.
This isn’t the only measure I’ve seen to accommodate the bicycle riders in Singapore, but it’s definitely the neatest. There are also bicycle only lanes that run parallel to sidewalks on most major roads, as well as Park Connectors that run between major parks in different regional areas. Also, there is a wide path that follows the MRT tracks that seems to get used pretty heavily by cyclists. I think I noticed a bicycle lane there as well.