Section of barrier outside Marina Bay MRT station removed as more workers return to office: LTA

The barrier was partially removed earlier this month. PHOTOS: SCREENGRAB FROM UGOAHBOY/TIKTOK, FELINE LIM

SINGAPORE - Workers in the Marina Bay area will no longer have to climb a barrier to avoid a lengthy detour when leaving or entering Marina Bay MRT station.

The barrier, which had been installed three years ago to prevent motorcycles from illegally parking on the field outside the MRT station, was partially removed earlier this month.

It had forced commuters to either take a two-minute detour to reach a road crossing in Marina Way, or to climb over the barrier.

The partial removal of the barrier, following a complaint on social media platform TikTok on April 5, had sparked discussion on whether a new barrier would be reinstated.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in response to queries that it will build a new footpath by the middle of the year at the section where the barrier has been removed.

"In preparation for the expected return of more office workers with the relaxation of safe management measures, we have recently removed some of the barriers along Marina Way to make way for a footpath," said an LTA spokesman.

"This provides an alternative, shorter route for pedestrians to cross the road."

Administrative executive Ted Ng, 37, who works in the Marina Bay area, said the removal of the barrier has made his daily commute much more convenient.

"I have never climbed over the barrier because it is hard to climb while wearing a suit," said Mr Ng. "I always have to walk one huge round around the barrier, which wastes time."

The volume of pedestrians regularly climbing the barrier had resulted in a bald patch forming on the grass leading to it.

The path is an example of a desire line, which refers to an unplanned route or path that is used by pedestrians in preference to a designated alternative.

The barrier came into the spotlight following TikTok user @ugoahboy's video, which has more than 230,000 views to date.

@ugoahboy

the purpose of putting a barrier here? #fyp

♬ pluto projector - al

The user questioned why the authorities did not want to create a proper path where the bald patch had formed.

In a subsequent update on April 9, the Tiktok user uploaded another video to show that a section of the barrier had been removed but noted that the current dirt path would get muddy after rainy weather.

@ugoahboy

Reply to @jaysukk they remove the barrier!! woo!! Happy me !! #marinabay #fyp

♬ original sound - undead - undead

Although the barrier was largely panned as an unnecessary hindrance by commuters, it was actually part of an award-winning solution to address the issue of illegal parking on state land.

A team from LTA, Singapore Land Authority, Singapore Police Force and the Urban Redevelopment Authority had proposed the installation of the barrier as part of a three-pronged solution to tackle illegally parked motorcycles in Marina Way, Battery Road, Bussorah Mall and Albert Street.

The team was recognised in the team category in the Municipal Services Awards by the Ministry of National Development in 2019.

The Straits Times understands that barriers could be reinstated alongside the new footpath to prevent the recurrence of illegal motorcycle parking on state land.

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