Sunday, 6 December 2015

Ang Mo Kio to be model walking, cycling town

Work starts on 20km cycling path network to enable seamless travel for pedestrians and cyclists
By Christopher Tan, Senior Transport Correspondent, The Straits Times, 4 Dec 2015

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 said: "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 navigate the network. Totem poles with speed check functions will also be set up.

The LTA said the safety of traffic junctions and crossings will be enhanced with features to slow motorists down. Motorists will be 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.

The 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's own network is estimated to cost $23 million.

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

What an exciting month as we begin works to transform Ang Mo Kio into Singapore’s first model walking and cycling...
Posted by Land Transport Authority – We Keep Your World Moving on Wednesday, December 2, 2015

* Singapore's first red cycling paths are ready for use in Ang Mo Kio
The Straits Times, 12 Jun 2016

The country's first dedicated cycling paths marked in red, to make them more distinguishable, were ready for use on Saturday (June 11).

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced that it has completed the two stretches of red, spanning 1.5km, along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 and Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3. These are part of plans to transform Ang Mo Kio into Singapore's first walking and cycling town.

The authority expects to complete a 4-km loop around Ang Mo Kio Avenues 1, 3, and 8 in July. Work started last December.

When fully completed, residents will be able to enjoy a 20km-long cycling path network, including a 2.6km-long cycling and walking corridor connecting the MRT viaduct between Yio Chu Kang MRT station and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.

Features such as pedestrian priority zones, traffic junctions enhanced with safety features and map-boards, to make it safer and more conducive for cycling and walking, will also be included.


* Pedal power push takes off in Ang Mo Kio
Over 30% rise in cycling activity at some areas where 4km cycling path was built: LTA
By Adrian Lim, Transport Correspondent, The Straits Times, 21 Sep 2017

Build it and they will come, goes the old adage - and that is exactly what happened in Ang Mo Kio when the Land Transport Authority (LTA) built a 4km cycling path one year ago.

After it was launched, the LTA found that there was an increase of more than 30 per cent in cycling activity at certain stretches where the circuit was laid, such as under an MRT viaduct.

This is significant because LTA surveys showed that about 40 per cent of cyclists have adopted cycling as part of their first-and-last mile journey to the MRT station.

Ang Mo Kio was identified in 2014 as a test bed for new cycling infrastructure. It completed its first phase of transformation into a model walking and cycling town in July last year.

The 4km-long red cycling path loops around Ang Mo Kio Avenues 1, 3 and 8. It was built with safety features such as road markings to alert motorists of pedestrians and cyclists at crossings.

To gauge the effectiveness of these measures, the LTA conducted manual counts along the path and did face-to-face interviews with 800 residents living nearby.

More than a quarter of the residents surveyed were cyclists, while the others were pedestrians.

About 88 per cent of cyclists said they feel safer with the new infrastructure, compared with 65 per cent before.

Meanwhile, 56 per cent of pedestrians said they also feel safer, compared with 33 per cent before the implementation of the cycling path.

Pedestrians told The Straits Times that this is because there is better segregation of cyclists and pedestrians. Pedestrian priority zones behind bus stops, which also separate the two groups, were also welcomed.

Mr Pragash Kulasagar, 51, the team leader of an active mobility patrol team in Teck Ghee, said: "When the cyclists enter these zones, they encounter (rumble) strips, which make them slow down."

While residents welcomed the new cycling infrastructure, some raised concerns about reckless users taking advantage of the smoother ride.

Secondary 4 student Tasha Ng, 16, took issue with e-scooter users who speed down the cycling path, especially at night. "How fast do they go? You can hear them coming but by the time you see them, they are whizzing by you," she said.

Mr Kulasagar said there have been no reported accidents on the cycling path. He supervises about 100 volunteers from 10 residents' committees who patrol the town to educate residents on safe riding.

But he agreed that the path can become crowded with two-way traffic during peak hours, and hopes more signs can be put up to remind users to be cautious.

Ms V.L. Koo, 29, a project manager, said it was common to see joggers and pedestrians using the bike circuit, especially along Avenue 8.

"It's a habit. Many residents used it as a walking path before. But I don't think it's a problem - they will move out of the way when there are cyclists," she said.

The LTA is now finalising design plans for the second phase of Ang Mo Kio's transformation, which will add 16km to the biking route.

A tender will be called in the first half of next year, the LTA added, with construction to start in the second half and an expected completion date of 2020.

Mr Ong Eu-Gene, a deputy director at LTA's Active Mobility Unit, said that building on the positive feedback on the red cycling path, the LTA will extend the design to future cycling towns, starting with Bedok.

Bedok is set to become the ninth cycling town next year, joining the likes of Jurong Lake District, Punggol and Pasir Ris.

The Government's plan is to construct cycling paths in all 26 Housing Board towns by 2030, contributing to an islandwide network of 700km. The current network, which includes the park connector network, is now more than 400km.


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