Cycle your way to cheaper living
June 4, 2008, 1:56 am
Filed under: Comments, Social Issues

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The Phnom Penh Post

30 May 2008

Cycle your way to cheaper living

by Moeun Chhean Nariddh

A

s the price of gasoline is skyrocketing, many Cambodians have thought about ways to cut the cost of travel by using other alternative means of transport.

I have personally decided to cycle to work a few times a week. In so doing, I am able to save some money I would spend on gasoline to cover the rising price of food.

Walking or riding a bicycle is also good for health. 

Nowadays, we frequently hear news of friends suddenly falling sick or dying from obesity-related illnesses like high blood pressure and heart attacks.

By riding a bicycle to work, I feel better and I don’t need the painful traditional coining Kos Kchol for occasional indispositions like before.

Riding a bicycle is also good for the environment in this increasingly polluted capital of Phnom Penh as it does not produce toxic emission like cars and motorcycles. Meanwhile, using bicycles also helps reduce traffic congestion.

However, cycling in Phnom Penh these days can also have bad consequences. Back in the 1980s, possessing a bicycle was like owning a luxury car for most Cambodians, so the cyclists also received a lot of respect from others. Because of this mutual respect, I was able to ride my bicycle to school without a single accident for nearly ten years.

Now things have changed. Except for foreigners, riding a bicycle in Cambodia today is considered a sign of low social status by many Cambodians.

Some car or motorcycle drivers would wildly honk their horns along a busy street to disperse cyclists and pedestrians as if they were cows blocking their way.

Worse still, pedestrians and cyclists can hardly find a safe road to travel on.

More than 15 years ago, Phnom Penh streets were clearly divided into appropriate lanes for cars, motorcycles and bicycles, while pedestrians traveled on the sidewalks.

Now, cyclists have to be squashed between cars and motorcycles or even pushed onto the sidewalk with pedestrians who also find it harder to walk. Except for a few boulevards, most sidewalks in Phnom Penh are now used as a parking place or to display goods for sale.

Nevertheless, walking or cycling is still a good way to move around the city.

To help reduce expenditure on gasoline and save the environment, the government should encourage people to walk or ride a bicycle in the city instead of driving their cars or motorcycles.

They also need to reserve part of the sidewalks for pedestrians and secure a safe lane for cyclists.

Government officials and civil servants can also take the lead by walking or cycling to work, while strictly strengthening the traffic rules.

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3 Comments so far
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I want also to reduce the travel because of high price of gasoline. But I still take motor to go to work every day and my pay for gasoline is still high like before. If the price is about 2.5 dollar per litre, I will do like you.

Comment by sokthy

Walk on the sidewalks,that is a laugh,they are clogged with motos and vendors displays etc. My wife and i walk everywhere possible ,but that is taking a life in your hands,moto riders(they are not drivers)have no idea which side of the road they should be on or in which direction they should be pointing,most,if not all,road signs are ignored by these impatient individuals.Nobody gives way to pedestrians even though the law specifically states they have to give way at street intersections,the police need to start enforcing at least some of the laws,it is like the wild west in Phnom Penh.

Comment by oddball

ស្អាតណាស់បង ធ្វើប្លុកបានស្អាតណាស់

Comment by KHMER BLOG




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