SINGAPORE — "Friendly Streets" - an initiative to make residential communities more people-friendly by enhancing the walking and cycling experience - will be piloted in five neighbourhoods by 2025.
The initiative was announced by Minister for Transport S Iswaran in Parliament on Friday (3 March) during his ministry's Committee of Supply debate, and will be launched subsequently in Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Batok West, Tampines, Toa Payoh and West Coast.
The project seeks to partner local communities to make neighbourhoods safer and more conducive for walk, cycle and ride journeys. It will target streets near key amenities and transport nodes with high pedestrian flows, and have the following features:
new barrier-free at-grade crossings with priority for pedestrians;
calmer vehicular traffic through road markings and treatments to encourage gracious road behaviour.
"Hitherto, much of the focus in road planning has been to meet the needs of vehicular flows. However, our local streets and the pedestrian network in our communities are also an integral part of our daily lives," Iswaran said in Parliament.
"We use them to visit neighbourhood centres, markets, polyclinics, and schools. It is where we might meet our neighbours and friends.
"There was a strong feeling... that we should make our streets more conducive for such everyday pedestrian use, especially with an ageing population."
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a media release on Friday that these measures will benefit seniors, persons with disabilities and families with young children, as they bring about safer, more convenient and comfortable journeys to key amenities in their neighbourhoods.
"We will design the Friendly Streets in partnership with the community," it added. "Ultimately, the success of such projects will depend on the strengths of the local 'Kampung Spirit' in looking out for one another when using our streets and commuter facilities.:
Two new pedestrianisation projects this year
LTA has also identified two new pedestrianisation projects this year, at Choa Chu Kang Terrace and Yung Sheng Road.
For Choa Chu Kang Terrace, it plans to pedestrianise a 80-metre stretch of the road - from Choa Chu Kang Avenue 1 to the loading/unloading access point of Sunshine Place. These will improve the accessibility to the amenities in Sunshine Place and the future Jurong Region Line station in the vicinity.
At Yung Sheng Road, LTA plans to pedestrianise an 18-metre stretch to improve safety for the large number of pedestrians walking between Taman Jurong Shopping Centre and Taman Jurong Market/Food Centre.
As part of the works, it is proposing to implement a covered linkway and improve barrier-free access to improve accessibility for pedestrians moving between the two developments.
Both projects are slated to start from the second half of this year, after LTA has further engaged the respective communities to co-create ideas for the repurposed space.
Updates to other pedestrianisation projects
LTA said in its media release that the pedestrianisation of Woodlands Ring Road (between Woodlands Drive 71 and Drive 63) next to Kampung Admiralty will be completed by the end of this month.This includes the installation of covered linkways, a new bus stop and widened footpaths.
Meanwhile, cycling path works will be completed in tandem with the wider Woodlands town cycling network to provide greater active mobility connectivity for residents. Works for the wider cycling network are targeted to complete progressively from 2024.
The road repurposing project at Tiong Bahru is also targeted for completion by June. LTA said it has finished the civil works to permanently pedestrianise Eng Hoon Street, and will follow up with planting and installation of street furniture.
Works to widen the footpath along Seng Poh Road and Lim Liak Street are also in progress. Placemaking features from the community will be incorporated to enhance the local characteristics of Tiong Bahru when the project is completed.
LTA also said that the walking and cycling experience at Tanjong Pagar has also been enhanced by milestones such as the recent completion of new cycling paths in the area.
Accessibility around Tanjong Pagar MRT station has been improved, with a barrier- free crossing at the intersection of Peck Seah and Wallich Street and a widened footpath along Yan Kit Road.
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