In February, part of Woodlands Ring Road in the north of the island was pedestrianised for a six-month trial.
The stretch between Woodlands Drive 63 and Woodlands Drive 71 was converted into two parts - the westbound lane was completely closed to motor traffic, while the eastbound lane was reserved for buses and emergency vehicles only.
The partial pedestrianisation of Woodlands Ring Road comes after the Transport Ministry set out plans in August last year to re-imagine Singapore’s road infrastructure, by converting certain under-used road lanes into cycling and bus lanes, as well as pedestrianising certain roads.
It is part of Singapore’s ongoing push to go car-lite, and promote walking and cycling. Other car-lite projects include the pedestrianisation of Bencoolen Street in the city. In 2019, about 60m of Fusionopolis Way road in one-north business park was converted into a pedestrianised street on a trial basis.
The LTA said the trial in Woodlands will give residents and students from nearby schools, including Minds Woodlands Gardens School, Woodlands Ring Primary and Secondary Schools as well as Spectra Secondary School, more space to walk and cycle.
“This will also make access to Kampung Admiralty, Admiralty MRT station and other amenities more convenient for pedestrians,” it added.
The LTA said it will engage the community to seek feedback and suggestions on the project, and the temporary modifications to the road layout will only be made permanent if the public supports the move.
As the six-month trial was ending this month, I visited the pedestrianised stretch of road today.
The junction with Woodlands Drive 63.
It felt good walking freely on a road that’s normally reserved for motor vehicles!
This stretch was chosen for the trial because of relatively low vehicular traffic; turns out pedestrian traffic was low too. Not many joined me on the road; some even kept to the pavements.
It was a short stretch, only around 200 metres, and my leisurely stroll lasted less than 10 minutes.
Approaching the junction with Woodlands Drive 71.
The junction with Woodlands Drive 71.
Despite the short length of road, that’s still quite a fair bit of land freed up. If the pedestrianisation becomes permanent, there’s so much potential for community activities, such as bazaars, performances, exhibitions, and alfresco dining.
I hope more of such under-utilised stretches of road are pedestrianised, not just in Woodlands, but in towns all over Singapore.