Pedestrian safety on footpaths of paramount importance

While it is understandable that we have to share public spaces in land-scarce Singapore, the safety of pedestrians on footpaths is of paramount importance ("Code of conduct puts pedestrians' safety first"; March 18).

Given that footpaths are currently about 1.5m wide, there is an urgent need to widen them to accommodate the increasingly heavy two-way traffic from pedestrians and those on personal mobility devices.

In addition, for the safety of pedestrians and to accord them the right of way, a yellow line should be drawn on footpaths, with footprints to indicate a dedicated pedestrian-only pathway on one side, much like what we have at East Coast Park.

This way, children and seniors can walk with some assurance that they will not get in the way of others.

I urge all town councils to review how their residents are using the footpaths and institute the yellow-line space as soon as possible, instead of waiting for the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to widen the footpaths or build cycling tracks.

To start with, enforcement should be heightened at busy traffic light junctions to get cyclists and other mobility-device users to dismount. Signs should be put up at such junctions, requiring them to do so.

Also, how does LTA expect cyclists or riders to know the speed at which they are travelling, given the speed limits - 15kmh on footpaths and 25kmh on cycling and shared paths?

If there is no space on the footpaths, should cyclists not be made to go onto the grass verge if they wish to overtake pedestrians? Should this not be part of the code of conduct too?

Rosalind Tham Pui Ying (Madam)