Mystery of misaligned linkway cleared up

The pedestrian crossing and the shelter not in alignment (left) and the crossing now shifted under the shelter (right), at the entrance of Rulang Primary School in Jurong West Street 52. The photo showing the misalignment had gone viral on Facebook l
The pedestrian crossing and the shelter not in alignment (above) and the crossing now shifted under the shelter, at the entrance of Rulang Primary School in Jurong West Street 52. The photo showing the misalignment had gone viral on Facebook last Saturday.PHOTOS: OUR SINGAPORE FACEBOOK, LEE JIA WEN
The pedestrian crossing and the shelter not in alignment (left) and the crossing now shifted under the shelter (right), at the entrance of Rulang Primary School in Jurong West Street 52. The photo showing the misalignment had gone viral on Facebook l
The pedestrian crossing and the shelter not in alignment and the crossing now shifted under the shelter (above), at the entrance of Rulang Primary School in Jurong West Street 52. The photo showing the misalignment had gone viral on Facebook last Saturday.PHOTOS: OUR SINGAPORE FACEBOOK, LEE JIA WEN

LTA says plan was for shelter to be built first, before pedestrian crossing is shifted under it

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, 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 the plan was for the shelter to be built first, then the pedestrian crossing shifted under it. This was to ensure that existing trees and underground utility services were not affected, according to the authority. It did not elaborate on whether this was the usual practice or a one-off situation.

The crossing, located at the entrance of Rulang Primary School, has since been shifted by a few metres to be aligned with the shelter.

When The Straits Times went to Jurong West yesterday, workers were putting the finishing touches to the crossing. Markings on the road and a neatly sliced-off section of the road 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. But she was puzzled by the previous layout.

"There was no point putting up the shelter if the kids were not sheltered when crossing the road," 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 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 redone?" he said.

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 the shelter had been up since at least July last year, 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 under shelter, causing them to be nearer to the cars," she said.

But 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.

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2018, with the headline 'Mystery of misaligned linkway cleared up'. Print Edition | Subscribe