Stretch of Canning Rise to be pedestrianised

The new walkway will connect Fort Canning Park's Farquhar Garden and Fort Canning Green seamlessly, and create a pedestrian-friendly environment within the park.
The new walkway will connect Fort Canning Park's Farquhar Garden and Fort Canning Green seamlessly, and create a pedestrian-friendly environment within the park.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

New walkway will create seamless connection between Fort Canning Park and museums

A portion of the one-way Canning Rise road will be permanently closed to traffic and accessible only to pedestrians from 12am on Jan 3, the National Parks Board (NParks) said yesterday.

This will connect Fort Canning Park's Farquhar Garden and Fort Canning Green seamlessly, and create a pedestrian-friendly environment within the park.

The portion of the road to be expunged starts at the Registry of Marriages and ends where it meets the National Museum of Singapore's coach drop-off bay.

There will be directional and information signs to guide motorists prior to the road closure and during construction works. Information will also be disseminated through the Land Transport Authority's OneMotoring website.

Motorists will be able to access the National Museum of Singapore's coach drop-off and Fort Canning Park's carparks A and B via Canning Walk, NParks said.

Access to the National Archives of Singapore, Singapore Philatelic Museum, Singapore Management University School of Law and Registry of Marriages from Canning Rise will not be affected.

Arts and leisure establishments in the vicinity were enthusiastic about the change.

"We welcome the move to have a pedestrianised road, and we hope the greening of the space will bring a renewed interest to the street and give people a reason to linger in the area," said a spokesman for The Substation, a contemporary arts centre in nearby Coleman Street.

A staff member at a cafe nearby said the pedestrian walkway would likely attract more customers and provide an environment for "Insta-worthy" photos, drawing Singaporeans and tourists alike.

 

According to the National Heritage Board (NHB), the walkway would create a seamless connection between the park and the museums in the Fort Canning area.

"The National Heritage Board museums - the National Museum of Singapore, Peranakan Museum and Singapore Philatelic Museum - look forward to the new pedestrianised area as it will provide visitors at Fort Canning Park better access to our museums," said an NHB spokesman. NHB also said it will explore how the new walkway can be used for programmes and events.

Visitors at the National Museum said having a pedestrian path would make the area more vibrant.

Mrs Rachel Lim, 48, a frequent visitor to the National Museum, said it was a positive move allowing people to explore more of the area. "I like the idea of having a walkway to access this belt of museums," she said.

However, some patrons were concerned about possible congestion in the area at peak hours during construction. Canning Rise is used by many motorists as a through road to Penang Road from Hill Street. Possible choke points may be at the turns from Canning Walk to Percival Way, and along Coleman Street, they said.

"It is going to be troublesome to navigate the Fort Canning area when the diversions start," said office worker Jacky Ong, 29.

Armenian Street will also be pedestrianised and turned into a park, and will be opened progressively from the first quarter of next year.

Works on Canning Rise will be completed by mid-next year, in time for Singapore's bicentennial events in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Raffles' landing in Singapore.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2018, with the headline 'Stretch of Canning Rise to be pedestrianised'. Print Edition | Subscribe