Park connector networks can be made 'seamless'

Since 1992, the National Parks Board (NParks) has been building more and more park connector networks (PCNs) all over our island.

These PCNs are a boon to joggers, pedestrians, retirees and cyclists, and can contribute to building a healthy nation.

However, there are kinks that ought to be ironed out.

The promenade along the Singapore River is ideal for jogging and cycling because whenever the PCN crosses a major road, it goes under, via a tunnel, and one's activity is unimpeded.

The tunnels near Clemenceau Bridge and Pulau Saigon Bridge are well built and joggers can continue the journey without having to cross the main roads.

However, on many other PCNs, the jogger has to wait for the traffic light to turn green before he is able to cross a major road.

For instance, when I jog along the Ulu Pandan PCN, I have to stop in Boon Lay Way and wait, before I can cross this busy road.

If NParks were to build a tunnel for pedestrians, the traffic light could be dispensed with and vehicular traffic would not be slowed down during peak hours.

Also, the Ulu Pandan PCN is joined to a ramp at the Toh Guan Flyover near the Pan-Island Expressway.

Many cyclists will simply cycle across the ramp, although there are warning signs to exhort them to push their bikes.

The fast-moving bikes are a menace to pedestrians, and the only way to stop them is to erect some bollards near the entrance and exit of the ramp.

I have witnessed many near misses when cyclists had to brake suddenly to avoid hitting pedestrians.

Kudos to NParks for the PCNs; perhaps it could consider some of my suggestions, so that the park connector experience can be even more pleasant for users.

Heng Cho Choon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2015, with the headline 'Park connector networks can be made 'seamless''. Print Edition | Subscribe