Pleasant walk along river now fraught with hazards

I have been walking along the Singapore River, from Shenton Way to Kim Seng Road, almost every day for the past 11 years.

It is a charming and scenic walk, and I have seen how much the little path has progressed over the years.

Joggers turn up in the early morning and late afternoon. Though it may be intimidating to see a group of five runners rushing towards you, it is manageable as long as you pay attention and give way, and they stay in control of their direction and speed.

Then, the bicycles arrived.

Initially, warnings were posted at each end of tunnels, requiring that the riders get down from their bikes while passing or risk being fined.

But the warning signs have disappeared and bikers have become more intrepid and careless.

With the introduction of shared bikes, the number of bikers has substantially increased.

I have begun to worry about toddlers and the elderly.

Now, the kick scooters and electric mobility devices have invaded the pavement with speed and arrogance.

Everyone else has to move and give way to them. I wonder if they can stop in time if they encounter an unexpected obstacle.

Though the walk along the river is still scenic, it is now hazardous and, sometimes, unpleasant.

The path should remain, above all, a walkway.

Walkers and joggers should be allowed to stay. Bicycles may use the path too, under certain conditions. But motorised vehicles should be banned.

Patrice Denis Jean Egron

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2017, with the headline 'Pleasant walk along river now fraught with hazards'. Print Edition | Subscribe