I’d like to say a big thank you to the taxi driver who slowed down to let me filter right in front of him just before the dreaded Toa Payoh flyover filter along Braddell Road. For those not familiar with the area, in both directions along Braddell Road, there is a two lane filter into the Toa Payoh estate. I usually have no problems avoiding being ‘squeezed’ into the filter when I cycle to work in the wee hours of the morning, but when I return in the late afternoon, traffic is somewhat heavier and filtering becomes considerably more difficult. Furthermore, in the return direction (going towards the CTE junction), most cars are coming down a flyover ramp at high speed, and are hence usually less amenable to yielding to cyclists (on the other side of the road, the cars are just coming from flat ground).
But no thank you to whoever was in the Volvo at the Lorong Chuan/AMK Ave 1 junction, where I was in the middle of the middle lane approaching the junction, because I didn’t want to turn left. You were turning left, I was nowhere close to encroaching upon ‘your’ lane, yet you still felt the need to honk several times at me.
Another thing of note. The section of Thomson Road at the big Lornie/Thomson/Braddell confluence had one lane closed off today. This was an unexpected boon for me because traffic was forced to slow down, which actually allowed me to feel safe filtering safely into the middle lane to get to Braddell Road. (I feel more assured that drivers will see and give a shit about my hand signal to turn right when they are going more slowly.) In normal traffic conditions, if I take the middle lane at the red light, drivers behind me get unhappy and often resort to passing me at decidedly unsafe distances (after, of course, lots of honking). If I don’t take the middle lane, I usually don’t get a chance to filter to the middle lane in the short stretch after the traffic lights and before the Braddell junction, and am ‘channelled’ helplessly into Upper Thomson Road, from where I have to take the pedestrian crossing at the next traffic lights to get to Bishan St 21, and detour through Bishan (up the bloody hill outside RJC) before emerging into Braddell Road near the CTE. Unintended traffic calming is a good thing.