SINGAPORE: Sunday 23 April 2017 was the first full day that the new Tanah Merah Coast Road was open, with its exclusive on-road bicycle lanes and the adjacent Coastal Park Connector, the latest addition to Singapore’s Park Connector Network (PCN).
After traversing the new route from north to south and back again, I can say that the planners behind this project have really pulled off a bicycling masterpiece.
Don’t take my word for it, just look at the happy faces of the people enjoying the new PCN and Singapore’s first and only on-road bike lane.
Bicyclists using the new PCN will notice an innovative new feature for cool night rides, in-ground light fixtures along the route.
The Changi Lodge dormitory also provides a coffee shop, ATM and mini-market for cyclists seeking to have a break and replenish depleted water bottles, or just heeding the call of nature (I mean, using the restroom). Details of this stop can be obtained on Google Maps.
The on-road bike lane and PCN incorporate many well thought out features to make them attractive to advanced cyclists, beginners and novices. In addition to cyclists, the PCN will be popular with runners and skaters who are already making appearances there.
Trees that have been planted along the route will soon bring some welcome shade, so in the meantime it is important to bring a good supply of drinking water. A future improvement would be to install some drinking fountains along the route. For shade, there are four shelters for cyclists along the eastern stretch (please refer to the official map that appears toward the end of this blog).
The wide PCN provides plenty of room for all users moving in each direction, and most people were being responsible by keeping to the left.
Traffic lights are few and far between. At some, the police were on hand to remind a few errant cyclists that the red lights apply to cyclists just as much as they apply to motor vehicles.
The eastern-most stretch offers some nice sea views, including the Pengerang hill silhouetted on the horizon (an hour’s bum boat ride from Changi Village Ferry Terminal).
By now I guess you have had enough reading, so I’ll let a few photos tell the rest of the story, starting with the good, followed by official informative notices, and ending with, areas for improvement.
Pictures tell the story
The official notices
Room for improvement
There are always teething pains with any new project. Fortunately there are very few with the Tanah Merah Coast Road on-road bike lanes and Coastal Park Connector. But just to complete the picture, I should mention;
There were some who worried that cars would use the bike lane as a parking lane. Well, of course, it would be naive to think that this would never happen, and sure enough, on day one, here we are! This is just after the exit to the Tanah Merah Ferry terminal.
All photos by Thomas Timlen