Work starts to transform Ang Mo Kio into model walking, cycling town

Phase 1 of the works, which includes a 4km cycling path looping around Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, 3 and 8, is expected to be completed by the first half of 2016.
Channel NewsAsia 3 Dec 15;

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

- CNA/cy/xq


Ang Mo Kio to have 20km cycling network by 2018
Christopher Tan, Straits Times AsiaOne 4 Dec 15;

Work to transform Ang Mo Kio into a model walking and cycling town has begun.

In a joint statement yesterday, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said the first phase of the project, which includes a 4km cycling path looping around Ang Mo Kio Avenues 1, 3 and 8, is expected to be completed by next June.

By then, cyclists and pedestrians will be able to travel seamlessly from the swimming complex along Avenue 1 to the Ang Mo Kio MRT Station.

The remaining work, which features a 16km cycling path network, including a 2.6km cycling and walking corridor connecting the MRT viaduct between Yio Chu Kang MRT Station and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, is expected to be mostly completed by 2018.

The network will also link up with Mayflower and Lentor stations along the future Thomson line.

URA chief executive Ng Lang yesterday described the project as "an important pilot" that aims to "encourage walking and cycling as alternative modes of green mobility".

LTA chief executive Chew Men Leong added: "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."

For instance, a large terrarium housing special orchids, as well as uncommon and native forest plants, will be built below the viaduct.

Fitness stations and play equipment will also be erected.

When completed, Ang Mo Kio will have a 20km cycling path network - the longest in any residential town. The network will be marked out in red and 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 priority zones will include rumble strips to slow cyclists down and markings to help pedestrians and cyclists keep to their side of the path. Mapboards highlighting key amenities and transport nodes will help users to navigate the network. Totem poles with speed-check functions will also be set up.

LTA said the safety of traffic junctions and crossings will be enhanced with features to slow motorists down. Motorists will be also alerted to the presence of pedestrians and cyclists.

Cycling advocate Han Jok Kwang said: "It's important to get one model town done and done well, so that it can be a benchmark."

He added that Ang Mo Kio, being relatively compact and with MRT and park connector access, allows for benefits of such a network to be felt more immediately.

LTA would not say how much the project is likely to cost, as tenders for the second phase have not been called.

But in 2013, the authority said it was working on building cycling paths in nine neighbourhoods, which would cost up to $43 million. The Marina Bay network alone is estimated to cost $23 million.

By 2020, cyclists can expect around 190km of paths.


Work starts on cycling path network in Ang Mo Kio
KELLY NG Today Online 3 Dec 15;

SINGAPORE — Work to transform Ang Mo Kio into the model town for being cyclist- and pedestrian-friendly has begun, with a 4km cycling path expected to be completed by the first half of next year, the authorities said today (Dec 3).

The cycling path forms one section of a 20km route that will loop through the whole neighbourhood, making it the longest in any residential town.

But beyond providing the infrastructure, the authorities are also testing out new ideas, such as making walking a more pleasant option by featuring large terrariums with special orchids along walking corridors.

Details of some of these plans were announced by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in a news release today.

LTA chief executive Chew Men Leong said: “We have actively involved the community in our planning ... We hope that this will support a more active lifestyle and truly change the way people move around in
their neighbourhood.”

When most of the enhancements are complete by 2018, parts of the walking/cycling network will be elevated, such as that at the busy junction of Ang Mo Kio Avenues 3 and 8, so that residents can bypass Ang Mo Kio MRT station safety and easily.

To enhance safety, cycling paths will be marked out in red while 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 zones will include rumble strips to slow cyclists down to a safe speed, and markings to help pedestrians and cyclists keep to their side of the path.

Safety features will be added near traffic junctions and informal crossings to slow motorists down. Where feasible, the use of slip roads will be reduced.

Features to make walking a more pleasant option will also be added. Apart from installing large terrariums, which are a relaxing sight to pedestrians, there are also plans to place uncommon and native forest plants under a viaduct that will serve as a walking corridor linking Yio Chu Kang MRT Station and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.

Fitness stations and play equipment will also be built for residents’ use. Mapboards highlighting key amenities and transport nodes, and totem boards with speed-check functions will also be installed.

The blueprint to transform Ang Mo Kio was first unveiled in December last year, following which a series of focus group discussions were held with Ang Mo Kio residents, whose ideas were incorporated in the design of the network.

Residents will also be roped in to develop a code of conduct, and roll out educational programmes to shape gracious and safe walking and cycling, the LTA and URA said last year.

Ang Mo Kio is the authorities’ second cycling town after Tampines, which has been criticised over the years over some features, such as the lack of separate and clearly delineated paths for cyclists and pedestrians.

Conflicts that arose from reckless driving and cycling had in the past also pushed Tampines to enact by-laws empowering town council officers to act against impetuous cyclists.

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