4th May marked the start of my 14-week adventures in Hangzhou. Frankly speaking, it is rather daunting to be away in a foreign land for such an extended period, furthermore only having a basic command of the Chinese language at my disposal. Nonetheless, I look forward to what these 14 weeks has in stored for me.
Upon arrival in Hangzhou, the structure of the roads was one thing that caught my attention; unlike in Singapore, the motorcycles/bicycles had their very own lane on the road, separate from that of automobiles. The sharing of lanes between automobiles and motorcycles/bicycles in Singapore poses a great hazard to motorcyclists/cyclists due to their own behaviour of lane splitting and the blindspots of automobiles. One approach taken to mitigate the risks posed to cyclists is the sharing of a common pathway between cyclists and pedestrians; this however poses a great safety concern to pedestrians. This simple solution that China has in place might perhaps be the panacea to our problems back home.
This solution has probably crossed the minds of our leaders before but why then is it not implemented? Unlike in China, motorcycles/bicycles are not a primary mode of transport in Singapore, perhaps it is thus not cost efficient and an inefficient use of land to dedicate a lane solely for this mode of transport. Furthermore, rolling out such a large-scale infrastructural upgrading would cause short-term inconveniences; the cost of having the measure in place perhaps still outweighs the benefits associated with it in Singapore’s context. With the implementation of bicycle rentals, bicycles might eventually become a primary mode of transport in Singapore in the future and when that happens, perhaps Singapore should reconsider this solution.
The experience here has been pleasant thus far; from the food to the seamless cash-free transactions. A picture is worth a thousand words and as seen below are some of the pictures I took in the few days I spent here.