Mark Thomas - New Mayor for Auckland

Footpath Screens Cover The Problem

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.

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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.

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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.


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