Cyclists and runners carefree on Car-Free Sunday

Cyclists enjoying a ride along St Andrew's Road in front of the National Gallery yesterday in the second Car-Free Sunday.
Cyclists enjoying a ride along St Andrew's Road in front of the National Gallery yesterday in the second Car-Free Sunday.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Runners, cyclists and hoverboard riders were among those taking advantage of the unusually empty city streets yesterday, as the second Car-Free Sunday opened with longer routes and extended hours.

The first, held on Feb 28, saw roads closed from 7am to 9am, but yesterday, some in the Central Business District and Civic District Loop remained shut to traffic from 7.30am until as late as noon.

The walking, running and cycling route was extended to include Esplanade Drive, forming a 5km car-free stretch comprising St Andrew's Road, Stamford Road, Esplanade Drive, Fullerton Road, Shenton Way and Robinson Road.

Runners and other sports enthusiasts at the event were happy with the extended route. Mr Jonathan Suerte, 43, who was there with his running club, said: "The routes were very well organised. The extended route was also good for people who want to do longer distances."

At Esplanade Park, there were open-mic sessions for members of the public to sing, dance or play instruments. Street performances, food trucks and an Easter egg hunt rounded off the lively vibe.

About 120 elderly Kolam Ayer residents enjoyed a walk with their MP, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim.

For retiree Kwa Chye Hong, 78, it was a trip down memory lane as she lived in the Boat Quay area as a child. "I used to take walks at Esplanade Park and eat satay at food stalls here," she said. "Now, there are so many new, beautiful buildings."

Dr Yaacob called it a "wonderful event". Car-free Sunday is a pilot scheme that will take place on the last Sunday of each month until July.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2016, with the headline 'Cyclists and runners carefree on Car-Free Sunday'. Print Edition | Subscribe