Building plans to take in needs of pedestrians, cyclists from July

From July, property developers will have to incorporate facilities for cyclists, such as bicycle parking (above) and shower rooms, in their designs.
From July, property developers will have to incorporate facilities for cyclists, such as bicycle parking (above) and shower rooms, in their designs.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Developers will soon be required to build facilities such as bicycle parking, shower rooms and lockers, as the Government moves to make cycling and walking more attractive transport options.

From July, developers will have to factor in the "safety, convenience and accessibility" of pedestrians and cyclists into their designs.

Apart from cycling facilities, developers will also have to locate vehicular routes away from those used by pedestrians and cyclists, for safety.

Walking and cycling routes from key transport nodes will have to be reviewed, and provisions made for covered linkways and safe crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.

The changes were announced yesterday by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Urban Redevelopment Authority. They are part of the Government's latest push to make active mobility modes - such as bicycles and electric scooters - more viable transport options.

The Walking and Cycling Plan (WCP) that developers will have to submit will help create a "safer, more accessible and people-friendly environment", said the two agencies in a joint statement.

The changes will apply first to commercial developments, such as shopping complexes, offices, business parks and schools, where high pedestrian and cyclist traffic is expected.

In a circular to industry players yesterday, the two agencies said the plans will apply to new developments, as well as major redevelopments of existing buildings.

The WCP was announced last month during the Budget debates in Parliament, and is part of measures to help Singapore go "car-lite".

LTA chief executive Chew Men Leong said pedestrians and cyclists now have to negotiate traffic across driveways or service roads en route to their destinations, and the plans will boost accessibility. "There is also room to improve supporting facilities such as bicycle parking and a good signage system," said Mr Chew.

Developers and users of personal mobility devices (PMDs) welcomed the new requirements.

Mr Richard Paine, managing director of Lendlease's Paya Lebar Central project, said the new regulations will "facilitate the necessary thinking and discussion to create well-designed, safe and usable facilities".

UOL Group deputy group chief executive officer Liam Wee Sin said developers will have to incorporate the needs of pedestrians and cyclists from the start.

"This initiative shows a mindset change where we put higher priority on designing for pedestrians and cyclists as against the current preoccupation with vehicular (accessibility) and car parking," he said.

But Ms Elle Cheng, 31, a business analyst who rides her e-scooter from her home in Yishun to her workplace in Marsiling, hopes facilities will also be provided for PMD users.

While there are now bicycle racks at most developments, such infrastructure does not exist for devices such as e-scooters, she said.

She said users have to take their PMDs into their destinations, where they might obstruct others.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2016, with the headline 'Building plans to take in needs of pedestrians, cyclists from July'. Subscribe