The ‘land-scarce’ excuse again

From a recent parliamentary session:

What has not changed is that in Singapore’s land-scarce context, we do not have the luxury of space to develop a comprehensive network of dedicated cycling lanes on our roads. Our focus remains on making it safe for various road users to share the space we have.

The fallacy is in assuming that the introduction of bike lanes cannot be made at the expense of existing car lanes. But bicycle lanes transport more people per unit area of road space. So it would in fact be a better use of land to replace a car lane with a bicycle lane. If you are short of land, it should be all the more important for you to switch from car-friendly American-suburb-style urban planning to dense-population-oriented European-style urban planning. Only cities with lots of space for sprawl to spread can afford to have swathes of highways.

Note again the assumption that prevailing pro-car infrastructure is sacred.

2 Responses to “The ‘land-scarce’ excuse <em>again</em>”


  1. 1 Back2Nature September 1, 2008 at 1:45 am

    I have always thought Singapore is small, and indeed it is. However, when I realized that some other countries/cities have narrow roads and pedestrian path (if any), I wonder how come a small country manage to have spacious pedestrian paths? I think it is not about space, it is about priority and planning.

    Like are scarcities such as time and money, the experts in time and money management will likely say the same thing. I bet many have heard of the two cups of coffee story about allocating time for important things in life.

    Yes, indeed, it is an excuse.


  1. 1 Here We Go Again « One Less Car Trackback on November 26, 2008 at 12:13 am

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