It will become easier to walk and cycle in Ang Mo Kio come 2018. The Land Transport Authority and Urban Redevelopment Authority on Tuesday (Dec 30) announced preliminary plans to make the town more conducive for walking and cycling.
Plans to pilot Ang Mo Kio as a walking and cycling town were first announced last month by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and these are part of the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015.
A 16-kilometre walking and cycling network has been proposed. Among the preliminary plans are dedicated walking and cycling paths, bicycle crossings alongside pedestrian crossing lanes, and narrowing some roads to encourage motorists to drive more slowly, with the extra space possibly used for pedestrians and cyclists.
Mr Rinihartini Mohd Ibrahim, who works in Ang Mo Kio, said: "Sometimes I may not know that there is actually a cyclist behind or in front of me, maybe because they do not have bells to ring. Sometimes you are fighting for a spot, to be walking either to your left or to your right.”
Mr Jonathan Poh is an Ang Mo Kio resident who cycles to the MRT station from home every day. He said: "Cycling now, it is like I am fighting with pedestrians. But if there is a road specially for cyclists, then it is better for me. It is safer."
There are also plans for a 2.6-kilometre corridor connecting Yio Chu Kang MRT station to Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. Located along the MRT viaduct, this will give cyclists and pedestrians a seamless path.
Authorities also said a code of conduct will be introduced, laying out a set of rules and principles to guide the behaviour of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. This is to ensure an enjoyable and safe experience for everyone, especially those who are more vulnerable, like seniors and children.
Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC Ang Hin Kee welcomed the move, noting that educating residents will be key. One of the initiatives planned for his area is the teaching of road safety in kindergartens and childcare centres.
"We have made available a kids road safety park. We have also bought some facilities - little bicycles, little traffic lights and the like," he added. "We will incorporate that into their kindergarten curriculum, so that kids from a very young age understand not only the safe way of crossing and using the road, but also that you need to embrace different road users."
Another priority group will be senior citizens, he said. "They tend to be more at risk or more vulnerable, maybe because their reaction time is slower. So we have to find ways to engage them to be safe when using the roads as well."
The goal is to build a good walking and cycling system to encourage more residents to take up more green modes of transport. Members of the public are invited to share their feedback on the preliminary plans, either online at www.walkandcycle.sg, or at a roving exhibition which begins on Wednesday.