SINGAPORE: Works to transform Ang Mo Kio into a model walking and cycling town have begun, with a 4km cycling path expected to be completed by the first half of next year.
Phase 1 of the works, which includes the cycling path looping around Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, 3 and 8, will allow residents to walk and cycle from Ang Mo Kio Swimming Complex to Ang Mo Kio MRT station, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said in a joint release on Thursday (Dec 3).
(Image: A cycling and walking corridor beneath the MRT viaduct)
The remaining works such as a 16km-long cycling path network, which includes a 2.6km-long cycling and walking corridor connecting the MRT viaduct between Yio Chu Kang MRT station and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, are expected to be mostly completed by 2018.
(Image: Special plants will be on display beneath the MRT viaduct)
When completed, Ang Mo Kio will have a 20km-long cycling path network - the longest in any residential town. Fitness stations and play equipment will also be built for residents’ use, and more greenery will be added beneath the MRT viaduct to showcase special orchids, uncommon and native forest plants.
(Image: A pedestrian priority zone behind a bus stop)
Cycling paths in the town will be marked out in red to make them more distinguishable. Pedestrian priority zones will be created in areas where pedestrians and cyclists often come into contact with each other, such as behind bus stops.
These pedestrian priority zones will include rumble strips to slow cyclists down to a safe speed, and contrast markings to help pedestrians and cyclists keep to their side of the path, the joint release said.
(Image: Cycling paths in Ang Mo Kio will be marked out in red)
Traffic junctions and informal crossings will also have enhanced safety features to alert motorists to the presence of pedestrians and cyclists.
New easy-to-read boards with maps of the town will be put up highlighting key amenities and transport nodes. Totem boards with speed check functions will also be installed at strategic locations to allow cyclists to check their speeds.
Plans to transform Ang Mo Kio into Singapore’s first model walking and cycling town were first unveiled in December last year. A series of community exhibitions and focus group discussions were conducted with Ang Mo Kio residents, whose ideas were incorporated in the design of the network.
“Ang Mo Kio will be the first model walking and cycling town in Singapore, where we will go beyond providing basic walking and cycling infrastructure and test out new concepts and ideas to make the town even more walkable and cyclist-friendly,” said LTA CEO Chew Men Leong.
"We would change the way people move around the town, and hope to encourage people to walk and cycle a bit more, not just as a means of commute, but also very much something that can be incorporated into their lifestyle, so that we can encourage people to be a bit more healthy and a bit more green," added LTA's director for active mobility and policy, Tan Shin Gee.
URA CEO Ng Lang noted that the aim is to encourage walking and cycling as alternative modes of “green mobility”.
Residents whom Channel NewsAsia spoke to welcomed the move.
"It's good to have separate paths for cyclists and pedestrians. If not, children may run into the cyclists," said resident Yan Oi Har, a 70-year-old retiree.
LTA said it has held focus group sessions with the community to find out their needs, as part of planning and designing infrastructure for Ang Mo Kio.
"A lot of them told us that it would be good to have dedicated cycling paths, and this is where we are having quite an extensive network in Ang Mo Kio," said Ms Tan.
LTA said it will work with URA, NParks and HDB to explore how these features can be extended to other towns.