SINGAPORE - More than 1,200 people took part in a 1.5km walkathon while joggers and cyclists alike got a chance to stretch their legs on Sunday (March 31), the last day of the year's first Car-Free Weekend.
The walkathon and various heritage-themed activities were among the highlights of the three-day car-free event. The expanded format was first tried in October last year.
This year's event kicked off at lunchtime on Friday with the Telok Ayer Festival, which showcased exhibitions promoting the lesser known stories of both Telok Ayer and Amoy streets, such as how Telok Ayer Street used to be where the coastline of Singapore was.
On Saturday evening, the car-free area expanded to within the Telok Ayer conservation area and parts of the Civic District. Visitors got to enjoy various activities, such as a traditional puppet performance and outdoor screening of a classic Cantonese film.
The largest car-free area was set aside on Sunday morning, with joggers and cyclists taking a 5.5km route from the Civic District to the Central Business District and the Telok Ayer conservation areas.
Cyclist Diana Poh, 35, who went to the event with her son, said: "It is more enjoyable to cycle here compared to cycling alone, because you get to do it as part of the community with many other cyclists."
The 1.5km walkathon was organised by the Singapore Road Safety Council (SRSC) as part of the council's 10th anniversary celebrations, with a majority of the participants being senior citizens. Many of them were there as part of SRSC's tie-up with the People's Association.
Said SRSC chairman Bernard Tay: "Lately, there are quite a number of elderly having fatal accidents on the road, so we think the walkathon is a good way to reach out to them to promote road safety."
Goodie bags were given out to participants with safety messages in them and booths set up to dispense information on road safety.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin, who flagged off the walk in front of the National Gallery, also cited accidents involving elderly road users as a cause for concern.
Besides picking up information on road safety during the walk, Madam Siti Aishah, 66, a retired manufacturing supervisor, said she enjoyed exploring the Civic District.
"I seldom come to this part of Singapore, as the traffic is usually very heavy," she said.
"But with this car-free weekend, we can get to enjoy the scenery and the buildings without any disturbance."