Posted on July 17, 2017
On Orchard Road in the heart of Singapore, extensive screens are in place to shield pedestrians from the traffic.
The screens are a perfectly pleasant mix of transparent, designed glass and a great mix of trees and other greenery.
The footpaths are enormous – several metres wide – but so is the road. A one way corridor with up five lanes in part, including a usually busy busway.
So, Singapore has improved what otherwise would be a very unpleasant pedestrian experience. But they haven’t really dealt to the underlying issue: a real tension between one of the most pedestrian enticing parts of Singapore and a major transport corridor.
There have been many calls over the years to pedestrianise (part of) Orchard Road. But, despite the excellent public transport serving the Orchard precinct, including 3 MRT stations across its length, this currently looks like too great a challenge for the transport planners – or the politicians governing them.