Dedicated bicycle terminals? Better to involve building owners, says Josephine Teo

"That is why the intention really is to involve building owners, because even if you provided a bicycle terminal, the individual will still have to get to their destination," said Mrs Teo in Parliament on Monday (May 9).
Channel NewsAsia 9 May 16;

SINGAPORE: Instead of setting up dedicated bicycle terminals at key locations in the city and downtown area, it is better to involve building owners and have them implement walking and cycling plans, Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo said in Parliament on Monday (May 9).

She was responding to a suggestion by Ang Mo Kio GRC Member of Parliament Darryl David, who said that such bicycle terminals could provide "the necessary facilities to support those who would like to cycle from their home to the city".

Said Mrs Teo: "When we provide bicycle facilities, we must bear in mind the objective, that is to provide first- and last-mile connectivity.

"That is why the intention really is to involve building owners, because even if you provided a bicycle terminal, the individual will still have to get to their destination. And that ultimately is going to be a building with an owner.

"So we prefer to require these owners to implement walking and cycling plans, so that these facilities can be nearer to the destinations of the bicycle users."

The Senior Minister of State also said that another consideraiton was whether there was available space near MRT stations.

Mrs Teo pointed out that that there are currently more than 800 bicycle parking lots at eight MRT stations located at the city area. The eight MRT stations are: Bugis, Farrer Park, Little India, Marina Bay, Newton, Outram Park, Rochor and Tanjong Pagar.

As for the Downtown Line, which is the newest line to be operational, bicycle parking lots will be provided at the majority of the stations in the city area.

She also touched on the Land Transport Authority's plans to require developers of commercial buildings and schools to submit a Walking and Cycling Plan (WCP) from July 2016.

"LTA also plans to require bicycle parking standards for private, residential, commercial and community developments, including those in the city area," said Mrs Teo. "Besides parking, developers will soon have to submit a walking and cycling plan, which factors in other supporting facilities for cyclists, such as showers and lockers."

DIFFICULT TO GET CURRENT BUILDING OWNERS TO MAKE PROVISIONS

However, extending the WCP requirements to existing building owners will be trickier, said Mrs Teo in response to a question from Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC Ang Hin Kee.

"For existing facilities, it's a little bit harder to require - retrospectively - the building owners to make such provisions available," said Mrs Teo.

"Within the building there could already be constraints. But I think it is quite clear to the building owners that as the number of users increase, as part of their friendliness towards the tenants in the building, they would want to make such facilities available."

Mrs Teo said that the ministry will continue to monitor trends, and that the priority is to is require new buildings to provide the plans.

"Where opportunities arise and it is possible for us to encourage existing building owners to do likewise, we will do so," she said.

- CNA/av

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