SINGAPORE: Hundreds of cyclists took to the new extended Tanah Merah Coast Road on Sunday (Apr 23) morning after it was officially opened the day before.
The road features a demarcated on-road cycling lane on both sides. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced last month that the new stretch, which also links to Aviation Park Road, will replace Changi Coast Road.
It added the 10-kilometre cycling lane, which is about two metres wide to cater to two cyclists abreast, is a “one-off initiative for sports cyclists” who use the area for training.
Channel NewsAsia was there early Sunday morning to see how cyclists, heavy vehicles and other cars used the new road.
The cycling lanes started to fill up by about 7.45am and were still being used past 9.30am. Besides cyclists and motorists, LTA officers, as well as auxiliary and traffic police officers, were also on site to observe how the road was used.
Some of cyclists were seen being instructed to stay on their dedicated cycling lane after they veered off their paths and onto the car lanes.
Mr Peter Tao, who leads cycling group SeaSucker, said the new cycling path has brought his group from their usual route in the West back to the East.
“I think it’s wonderful,” said the 45-year-old. “At least it’s a dedicated lane for cyclists, so at any time cyclists feel safe. They’re not affected by trucks or cars. They have their own lane.”
However, he noted the lanes were not wide enough and this could cause some problems.
“The two-metre space is generally enough. But when we have a large peloton like this, it can get a little bit crowded and we might be forced to move out to overtake on the car lane and cut back in.”
Another cyclist, Eric, shared the same view: “It (the cycling lane) is a good idea but I think it’s a little bit too narrow because it allows only two bikes. This is quite a flat road and if we are going at a high speed, there’s not much space for us to maneuver if there is a rider or a group of riders in front. (There will be) congestion.”
The extended Tanah Merah Coast Road was built to replace Changi Coast Road, which was closed on Apr 22 to facilitate work on Changi Airport's third runway and the new Terminal 5.