New scheme in Toa Payoh East-Novena to promote safe sharing of footpaths

Volunteers in yellow vests handing out brochures to cyclists at a high pedestrian zone.
Volunteers in yellow vests handing out brochures to cyclists at a high pedestrian zone. ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN
A new scheme that enables volunteers to patrol the pathways in Toa Payoh East- Novena ward and dish out advice to cyclists and users of personal mobility devices will make pathways safer.
A new scheme that enables volunteers to patrol the pathways in Toa Payoh East- Novena ward and dish out advice to cyclists and users of personal mobility devices will make pathways safer. ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN

SINGAPORE - Volunteers will conduct monthly patrols around Toa Payoh East-Novena, in a bid to make footpaths safer for pedestrians who share the space with cyclists and other users of personal mobility devices.

About 16 volunteers will go around the neighbourhood to educate cyclists on responsible and gracious behaviour, as part of a new scheme launched by the constituency's grassroots organisations on Saturday (April 30) morning.

The People's Association Community Emergency Response Team volunteers, grassroots volunteers and community partners, will also pound the ground to reach out to users of personal mobility devices, including skateboards, rollerblades and kick scooters.

This comes after the government accepted a recommendation from an expert panel looking into active mobility issues to legalise cycling on footpaths. A law allowing bicycles and other mobility devices on footpaths is expected to be passed by the end of this year.

The volunteers will be stationed at eight hotspots in the area with high pedestrian flows, such as crowded bus stops or traffic junctions near public transport nodes, to engage users of bicycles and other mobility devices.

For instance, users could be asked to push their bikes in crowded areas, switch on lights on the mobility devices when it gets dark, and give way to pedestrians.

But the volunteers will not be required to carry out any enforcement.

This will be undertaken by the Land Transport Authority's (LTA) Active Mobility Enforcement Officers. More details of this enforcement team will be announced in coming months.

The volunteer scheme and LTA team were first announced during the debate on the Transport Ministry's budget in April this year.

These moves are geared at encouraging safe and harmonious sharing of paths, with the government hoping to shift more people to alternative modes of transport in its bid to transform Singapore into a car-lite nation.

The scheme could be rolled out to other constituencies, including Nee Soon, Jurong and Tanjong Pagar, which have expressed interest, the LTA said.