LTA clears up mystery of misaligned sheltered walkway in Jurong West

Construction workers shifting a traffic light so that the pedestrian crossing is under a shelter. Netizens had earlier been perplexed after seeing that the pedestrian crossing and the shelter were not aligned.
Construction workers shifting a traffic light so that the pedestrian crossing is under a shelter. Netizens had earlier been perplexed after seeing that the pedestrian crossing and the shelter were not aligned. ST PHOTO: LEE JIA WEN

SINGAPORE - The mystery behind a sheltered linkway that was not aligned with a pedestrian crossing has been cleared up.

A photo of the linkway in Jurong West Street 52 went viral on Facebook last Saturday (Jan 13), with some users perplexed by the design and others thinking it was a mistake.

But, in response to queries from The Straits Times, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that the plan was for the shelter to be built first, then the pedestrian crossing to be shifted under it.

This was to ensure that existing trees and underground utility services were not affected, according to the LTA. It did not elaborate on whether this was usual practice or a one-off situation.

The pedestrian crossing, located at the entrance of Rulang Primary, has since been shifted by a few metres to align it with the shelter.

When The Straits Times went to Jurong West on Monday, workers were adding finishing touches to the walkway. Markings on the road and a neatly sliced-off section of the lane divider indicated where the previous crossing used to be.

Madam Ang Pek Luan, 65, who was cycling from the school, was happy with the change. However, she was puzzled by the previous layout of the shelter.

"There was no point putting up the shelter if the kids were not sheltered when crossing the roads," the housewife, whose bicycle was loaded with the schoolbags of her three grandchildren, said in Mandarin. "It was very inconvenient."

Retiree James Lem, 58, a resident in Jurong West Street 52, also had many questions about the previous layout.

"Who approved this design in the first place? We must question why the contract was accepted. And why was it completed and not stopped and re-done?"

But he acknowledged that the crossing was only "a little bit out" from the shelter before, and did not see it as much of a problem.

Ms Nur Fidyyana, 26, who teaches art at Rulang Primary, said that the shelter had been up since at least July 2017, when she started work at the school.

"The traffic lights were not aligned for a long time. It was dangerous in the rain when a lot of students were crossing the road as they had to take a slight detour to remain in the shelter, causing them to be nearer to the cars," she said.

However, she noticed the change in the location of the crossing only when it was pointed out to her. She was surprised it had been shifted so quickly as it was still in its old location last Friday when it was raining.

LTA did not say if the plan to shift the crossing was brought forward.