Coastal Adventure Corridor to have wider tracks, self-help stations for cyclists

KENNETH CHENG Today Online 9 Jul 16;

SINGAPORE — The Coastal Adventure Corridor, which is the first section of a 150km continuous park connector, will feature wider tracks than those found in most park connectors. It will stretch from Rower’s Bay at Lower Seletar Reservoir Park through to Gardens by the Bay, winding through the coasts of Punggol, Pasir Ris, Changi and East Coast Park.

Works on this 60km corridor are set to start by the end of this year, with a tender to be called soon.

This will be the first of three corridors to be developed along the Round Island Route, and it will have a new cycling bridge linking the eastern and western ends of the Sengkang Riverside Park, a key activity node along the route.

Ms Kartini Omar, National Parks Board’s group director of parks development, said that cyclists need not dismount on the bridge, making for “more seamless connectivity”. More of such cycling bridges will go up along the route for the convenience of cyclists.

To enable otters to build their holts, or dens, a man-made island with wetland plantings will also be created as part of the design of the bridge at the Sengkang Riverside Park.

The continuous Round Island Route will have 6m-wide tracks, broader than the 4m-wide ones found in most existing park connectors that it will complement. When completed, it will link parks and park connectors as well as natural, cultural, historical and recreational sites.

Giving more details to the media on Thursday, Ms Kartini said that the Round Island Route would offer scenic views of the coastal areas, and have facilities such as shelters, toilets and rest-stops to add to the cycling experience. Users may unwind and take in the views at picturesque gathering spots.

Rower’s Bay, for instance, would be one such scenic rest-stop, affording views onto the Lower Seletar Reservoir and a choice spot for phototaking, Ms Kartini said.

There will also be amenities such as lookout points, information panels, bicycle parking racks and self-help bicycle-repair stations at various spots along the route.

Along the way, cyclists may see a variety of fauna, including the smooth-coated otter and the oriental pied hornbill.

The existing park connectors linked to the Round Island Route will include the Punggol, Paris Ris and Changi park connectors, as well as parks such as the Pasir Ris, Changi Beach and East Coast parks.

On Saturday morning (July 9), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong unveiled a plaque at the Sengkang Riverside Park to mark the start of works on the Round Island Route.


Development works for Round Island Route start end-2016
Channel NewsAsia 9 Jul 16;

SINGAPORE: Development works for the Round Island Route (RIR) - a continuous 150km park connector that goes around the island - are set to begin by the end of 2016, the Land Transport Authority (LTA), National Parks Board (NParks) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announced on Saturday (Jul 9).

Works will start with the 60km-long Coastal Adventure Corridor, the first of three corridors for the RIR, which will connect 45km of existing park connectors. When completed, users will be able to cycle along the coasts of Punggol, Pasir Ris, Changi and East Coast Park to get to Gardens by the Bay from Lower Seletar Reservoir Park.

The corridor will serve Sengkang, Punggol, Pasir Ris and East Coast.

ROUND ISLAND ROUTE TO BE WIDER

The RIR will be 6m wide in most areas - wider than the 4m current park connectors have - with the aim of providing more space for people to walk and cycle, the authorities said.

It will also have more cycling bridges so that cyclists need not dismount long their journey. Amenities in the form of shelters, toilets, lookout points, bicycle parking lots and self-help bike repair facilities will also be present along it.

For example, a cycling bridge is planned at Sengkang Riverside Park to connect the eastern and western end. As part of the design for the bridge, the park will also feature a man-made island with wetland plantings for otters to build their holts, LTA, NParks and URA said.

MORE INTER-TOWN CYCLING ROUTES IN FUTURE

The Government is looking into providing more inter-town cycling routes to connect cyclists from their homes to the city, the authorities said. These connections will also provide cyclists a connection from the east to the west via the city centre.

Currently, plans are in place to construct Queenstown-City and Geylang-City routes.

"We have also identified some towns that are within a 30-minute cycling distance from the city such as Bishan, Hougang and Bukit Timah, and will be plugging gaps along the existing cycling routes to the city," they said.

And as part of the North-South Corridor (NSC), LTA will provide a cycling corridor that connects estates in the area directly to the city.

"In particular, towns in the north such as Sembawang, Yishun and Ang Mo Kio will be linked to the dedicated cycling paths integrated with the NSC to provide a direct route for people to cycle from their homes to the city for work or play," the authorities said.

- CNA/av


Phase 1 of 150km green trail will start at year end
Adrian Lim, The Straits Times AsiaOne 10 Jul 16;

Construction work on the first 60km of a continuous 150km green trail that will go around Singapore will start at the end of the year.

The project aims to enhance connectivity and create new recreational spaces for cyclists and park goers.

In a ceremony held yesterday morning (July 9), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong planted a tree at the Sengkang Riverside Park, marking the start of phase one of the Round Island Route, an idea first conceptualised in 2011.

The 150km corridor, which is more than three times the length of Singapore, will be built in three stages.

While a completion date has yet to be announced, the route will link existing natural, cultural, historical and recreational sites.

The development is part of the larger Park Connector Network (PCN), which is now over 300km in length, and the new corridor is expected to benefit about 3.5 million residents along the route.

The National Parks Board (NParks) will be calling for a tender soon for the first phase of the route.

The 60km stretch, named the Coastal Adventure Corridor, will start at Rower's Bay at the Lower Seletar Reservoir Park and pass along the coasts of Punggol, Pasir Ris, Changi and East Coast Park, before reaching Gardens by the Bay East.

Ms Kartini Omar, group director of parks development at NParks, said efforts have been made so the Round Island Route has "seamless connectivity".

"For the Coastal Adventure Corridor... we will have a bridge across Sungei Punggol, which will link the two parcels of Sengkang Riverside Park, so park users (cyclists) don't actually have to dismount and (can) have a more seamless ride," she said, citing an example.

The Round Island Route's tracks will be mostly 6m wide - wider than the 4m paths of the park connectors.

It will also have shelters, toilets, lookout points, information kiosks, bicycle parking lots and self-help bike repair facilities.

Mr Han Jok Kwang, a cycling enthusiast and chairman of the Friends of PCN Community group, said the Round Island Route is about "connecting the dots forward", as it will link to other PCN loops at strategic locations, feeding its users into various residential towns.

"With the route, you can also go around the whole island safely, minimising interaction with vehicular traffic," he added.

As a 150km-long corridor, it also offers the potential for eco-tourism, giving visitors to Singapore a chance to explore the scenic coastline and other attractions along the way, he said.

Sengkang resident Eric Phua, 37, said the upcoming Coastal Adventure Corridor will give him an incentive to pick up cycling.

"I'll consider cycling to enjoy this new facility and it can also be another form of exercise for me," said the stock dealer.

The 150km corridor, which is more than three times the length of Singapore, will be built in three stages. While a completion date has yet to be announced, the route will link existing natural, cultural, historical and recreational sites.



Outdoor terrariums among new features in Ang Mo Kio, Singapore's first walking and cycling town
AsiaOne 10 Jul 16;

SINGAPORE - Do not be surprised when you spot butterflies fluttering near manicured plants encased in glass containers below MRT viaducts in the future.

These outdoor terrariums - the first in Singapore - together with butterfly-attracting plants and artworks, can already be found under the MRT viaduct along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8, which is part of the government plan to encourage Singaporeans to go 'car-lite'.

Ang Mo Kio will be transformed into Singapore's first walking and cycling town with infrastructure upgrades such as bicycle maintenance workspaces, dedicated cycling paths, parks along the routes, and seamless connectivity.

These dedicated cycling paths will be demarcated in red to distinguish them from footpaths, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a joint press release with the National Parks Board (NParks) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

An additional 16km-long cycling path network, including a 1.6km-long walking and cycling corridor along the MRT viaduct between Yio Chu Kang MRT station and Ang Mo Kio MRT station, will be ready by 2019.

This network is part of the second phase to transform Ang Mo Kio, allowing all homes in the town to be within a 5-minute walk to the nearest cycling path.

The government agencies added that the network will also link up to the upcoming Mayflower and Lentor MRT stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line, as well as the cycling trunk route along North-South Corridor, which offers a direct cycling connection from Ang Mo Kio to the city.

Work to start on 150km Round Island Route

45km of existing park connectors will also be connected through the 60km Coastal Adventure Corridor.

The Coastal Adventure Corridor is the first of three corridors forming the 150km Round Island Route (RIR), boasting paths 6 metres wide, compared to current park connectors measuring 4 metres.

NParks will commence development works by the end of the year, and users will be able to cycle along the coasts of Punggol, Pasir Ris, Changi and East Coast Park to get to Gardens by the Bay from Lower Seletar Reservoir Park when completed.

Sengkang Riverside Park will also boast a man-made island with wetland plantings for otters to build their holts.

Queenstown-City and Geylang-City inter-town cycling routes

Future plans in the pipeline include inter-town cycling routes to connect cyclists directly from their homes to the city from the east to the west through the city centre.

Plans are already in place to construct the Queenstown-City and Geylang-City routes, allowing people to cycle from Geylang and Marine Parade to Queenstown and Bukit Merah.

"We have also identified some towns that are within a 30-minute cycling distance from the city such as Bishan, Hougang and Bukit Timah, and will be plugging gaps along the existing cycling routes to the city, to make the riding experience smoother and more seamless," the agencies said in the joint statement.

In the longer term, towns in the north such as Sembawang, Yishun and Ang Mo Kio will be linked to the dedicated cycling paths integrated with the North-South Corridor, providing a direct route for people to cycle from their homes to the city.


More Walking and Cycling Connections for a Car-lite Singapore
- Phase 1 of Ang Mo Kio walking and cycling town completed
- Development works for Round Island Route to begin by end of year
NParks Press Release 9 Jul 16;

It will be more convenient, comfortable and safer to walk, cycle, and use public transport, as the Government expands walking and cycling infrastructure for a Car-lite Singapore.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was at the launch ceremony this morning with Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong and Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo, and announced the completion of the first phase of works to transform Ang Mo Kio into Singapore’s first walking and cycling town. At the same time, the National Parks Board (NParks) will be starting development works for the 150km Park Connector Network Round Island Route to link up parks, park connectors and communities by the end of the year.

Ang Mo Kio Walking and Cycling Town

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has completed a 4km-long cycling path that loops around Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, 3, and 8. This will allow residents to walk and cycle to key amenities such as Ang Mo Kio MRT station, Ang Mo Kio Swimming Complex and AMK Hub.

Jointly designed and developed by LTA and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the Ang Mo Kio walking and cycling town incorporates a number of pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly features. Ang Mo Kio is the first town in Singapore to feature dedicated cycling paths that are red in colour so that they can be easily distinguished from footpaths. Bus stops are designated pedestrian priority zones, and the cycling paths go behind the bus stops, and have rumble strips to remind cyclists to slow down. Road crossings have new safety features and traffic calming measures to reduce vehicle speeds and alert motorists of pedestrians and cyclists. Easy-to-read map boards have also been placed along the paths to help residents navigate the cycling network. Many of these features were co-created with Ang Mo Kio residents, after a series of community exhibitions and focus group discussions were conducted.

Another innovation is the unused space under the MRT viaduct along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8, which has been transformed into a linear walking and cycling park, lined with shrubs and butterfly-attracting plants, and a large terrarium which showcases a microcosm of a rainforest environment, with plants that are adapted for growth under low light conditions. This is the first time a large terrarium is displayed outdoors, and there are plans to have two more terrariums along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 Linear Park. To further enhance the experience of the path users, a series of artworks has been installed on three MRT columns underneath the viaduct. There is also a bicycle self-service station for cyclists to carry out basic maintenance on their bikes. Users can also expect a play and fitness area, and community gardening plots when the linear park is fully completed in 2019.

Phase 2 of the Ang Mo Kio walking and cycling town will feature an additional 16km-long cycling path network, including a 1.8km-long walking and cycling corridor along the MRT viaduct between Yio Chu Kang MRT station and Ang Mo Kio MRT station. It will also feature an elevated walking and cycling path that will allow residents to walk and cycle more safely and conveniently to Ang Mo Kio MRT station. The network will also link up to the upcoming Mayflower and Lentor MRT stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line as well as the cycling trunk route along North-South Corridor, which offers a direct cycling connection from Ang Mo Kio to the city.

Works for Phase 2 will commence shortly and are expected to be completed in 2019. When completed, the 20km-long cycling path network will be the longest in any residential town and all homes in the Ang Mo Kio HDB town will be within a 5-minute walk to the nearest cycling path. LTA will continue to work with the community and other agencies to replicate these features in other towns, so that more Singaporeans will be encouraged to take up active modes of transport like walking and cycling.

Involving the Community

In land scarce Singapore, making our towns more liveable has to be a whole-of-community effort. To promote a culture of safe and gracious sharing of paths in Ang Mo Kio, LTA engaged the local grassroots to form volunteer groups under the Active Mobility Patrol scheme so that they can help to spread key messages on safe riding habits.

To add a touch of creativity to the environment, students from My First Skool created active mobility-themed art pieces, such as a bicycle sculpture from recycled materials. A former resident in Ang Mo Kio, Ms Zoe Lin, contributed a series of art murals along the walking and cycling route near Teck Ghee Community Centre, as part of URA’s ‘Our Favourite Place’ programme to enliven public spaces across Singapore.

NParks also worked with the Institute of Technical Education College Central on a student project to pilot an augmented reality mobile application to showcase two plants found in the terrarium. The students will also be leading regular tours along the linear park in the future.

Round Island Route

NParks will be starting development works for the “Coastal Adventure Corridor” of the 150km Round Island Route (RIR) by the end of the year. The 60km Coastal Adventure Corridor is the first of three corridors for the RIR, which will connect 45km of existing park connectors. It will be flanked by Rower’s Bay at Lower Seletar Reservoir Park and Gardens by the Bay East. This corridor will serve the highly populated towns of Sengkang, Punggol, Pasir Ris and East Coast. When completed, users will be able to cycle along the coasts of Punggol, Pasir Ris, Changi and East Coast Park to get to Gardens by the Bay from Lower Seletar Reservoir Park.

To provide more space for people to walk and cycle, the Round Island Route will have greater width in most areas (6 metres wide) compared to the current park connectors (4 metres wide). More cycling bridges will be built so that cyclists need not dismount. It will also have amenities such as shelters, toilets, lookout points, bicycle parking lots and self-help bike repair facilities. Nature lovers can look forward to special features such as a man-made island with wetland plantings for otters to build their holts at Sengkang Riverside Park.

Please refer to the Fact Sheet for more information on the new features in the Ang Mo Kio walking and cycling town as well as the RIR and Ang Mo Kio Linear Park.

Future Plans

Beyond these plans, the Government will also look at providing more inter-town cycling routes to connect cyclists directly from their homes to the city. These connections will also provide cyclists with a seamless connection from the east to the west via the city centre, allowing people to cycle from Geylang and Marine Parade to Queenstown and Bukit Merah. Currently, plans are in place to construct the Queenstown-City and Geylang-City routes. We have also identified some towns that are within a 30-minute cycling distance from the city such as Bishan, Hougang and Bukit Timah, and will be plugging gaps along the existing cycling routes to the city, to make the riding experience smoother and more seamless.

In the longer term, as part of the North-South Corridor (NSC), LTA will provide a cycling corridor that connects estates along the entire corridor directly to the city. In particular, towns in the north such as Sembawang, Yishun and Ang Mo Kio will be linked to the dedicated cycling paths integrated with the NSC to provide a direct route for people to cycle from their homes to the city for work or play.

MEDIA FACTSHEET
ROUND ISLAND ROUTE OF THE PARK CONNECTOR NETWORK
Park Connector Network (PCN)
The PCN was first conceptualised in 1990 as an island-wide greenery network that connected parks, nature areas and open spaces. In 1991, the Garden City Action Committee approved the creation of the PCN with the aim of providing Singaporeans with greater leisure options. Today, it has evolved into a network of green corridors
that brings communities together and provides opportunities for more recreational options for different interest groups. Park connectors also play an important role in enhancing the biodiversity of our cities, by serving as green corridors.

In 2015, the National Parks Board celebrated 25 years of PCN by reaching the significant milestone of 300 km of park connectors. NParks aims to have 360 km of park connectors by 2020.

Round Island Route

The Round Island Route (RIR) is a continuous 150 km park connector that goes around Singapore. It was first conceptualised in 2011 following public consultations for our City in a Garden vision, where many suggestions were given by the public on a green corridor that goes around the island, linking parks and park connectors.

After a period of study, plans were announced in 2012 to develop a Round Island Route.

The Round Island Route will complement the existing PCN, connecting existing natural, cultural, historical and recreational sites and linking communities together. It will provide opportunities for recreational activities such as cycling, skating, jogging and hiking. These connections and activities will enhance our ‘City in a Garden’ experience for all residents.

Round Island Route users can:
* Experience enhanced connectivity between various recreational destinations;
* Discover and explore exciting new locations and activities;
* Admire different landscapes set amid lush greenery, at their own pace.

There will be three corridors for the Round Island Route. The first corridor, called the Coastal Adventure Corridor, will be the first section to be developed. Development is slated to begin in end 2016.

When fully completed, users will be able to cycle from Rower’s Bay at Lower Seletar Reservoir Park along the coast of Punggol, Pasir Ris, Changi and East Coast Park to Gardens by the Bay. Efforts will be made to make the route user friendly and enjoyable. For example, a cycling bridge is planned at Sengkang Riverside Park, a
key activity node of the RIR, to connect the eastern and western end, so that cyclists need not dismount as they cross the bridge. As part of the design for the bridge at Sengkang Riverside Park, a man-made island with wetland plantings will be created for otters to build their holts. The route will also be wider than normal park
connectors in most areas (6m instead of 4m), and have amenities such as shelters, toilets, lookout points, seating areas, information kiosks, bicycle parking lots and selfhelp bike repair facilities at various nodes.

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