Urgent need to make bus stops accident-proof

In the light of recent news on accidents caused by reckless e-scooter users, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) needs to expedite infrastructure changes at bus shelters and pathways to prevent more accidents (Former beauty queen hurt in e-scooter accident, June 7; and E-scooter rider admits to causing grievous hurt, June 14).

Some bus shelters are located in areas where there are very narrow pathways as well as large advertisement panels on the sides, which block the view of personal mobility device (PMD) users as they approach the bus stops. People within the shelters are also unable to see PMD users or cyclists headed their way.

I had written to LTA in November last year regarding one such hazardous bus shelter along Upper Serangoon Road, which is commonly used by children due to childcare centres in the vicinity.

I was heartened to receive a reply from LTA then that cycling paths were being planned along Upper Serangoon Road "where the footpath will be widened and a dedicated space will be provided for cyclists and PMD users" while cycling paths would be routed behind bus stops, where possible.

The reply also stated: "We are currently in the midst of consulting relevant agencies and contractors on the planning and design of the overall cycling path network in Hougang. LTA will release more details to the public once the cycling network plans for Hougang have been firmed up."

LTA has moved in the right direction with regard to PMD usage here, including planning cycling paths, stepping up enforcement and requiring the registration of e-scooters.

But, in the meantime, it also needs to push ahead with infrastructure changes at accident-prone bus shelters - for example, by removing the large advertisement panels.

It should also make it a requirement for PMD users to dismount when approaching bus shelters.

The planning of cycling paths and widening of footpaths require time.

In the interim, the combination of reckless PMD users and bus shelters with blind spots can only be accidents waiting to happen.

Since my letter to the LTA, no changes have been made to that bus shelter in Upper Serangoon Road and it remains unsafe for users.

More government resources need to be dedicated to hasten such infrastructure changes to ensure the safety of pedestrians.

Teo Leng Lee (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 16, 2018, with the headline 'Urgent need to make bus stops accident-proof'. Print Edition | Subscribe