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More Covered Linkways, Elderly Friendly Bridges For Commuters
Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1249880/1/.html
Source Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Country: Singapore
Created: Jan 23, 2013

SINGAPORE: The government will spend close to S$700 million to make transport nodes more accessible, elderly friendly and conducive for commuters.

The plans, mapped out in the new Land Transport Master Plan, were announced by Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew on Wednesday.

One of the new initiatives -- Walk2Ride -- will make it easier for more commuters to walk to MRT stations.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will build sheltered linkways within a 400-metre radius from all existing MRT stations, compared to the current radius of 200 metres.

LTA will also link up developments within a 200-metre radius of all bus interchanges, LRT stations and high-usage bus shelters.

In all, some 200 kilometres of linkways will be added islandwide by 2018, more than four times the existing 46 kilometres today.

The project is expected to cost some S$330 million and will begin from 2014.

Currently, sheltered linkways are built to link only to schools, healthcare institutions and other transport nodes like bus stops and taxi stands.

But under Walk2Ride, shopping, leisure, commercial and residential areas will also be linked.

LTA intends to leverage on existing linkways and work with the different town councils before deciding on which areas will be given priority.

The Walk2Ride initiative is being rolled out, following a successful trial at Lakeside MRT.

More pedestrian overhead bridges will also become more elderly and wheel-chair friendly.

LTA has reviewed the provision criteria to build more lifts at such bridges. These include those located within 200 metres of MRT stations and 100 metres of LRT stations.

Some 40 bridges have been identified for further feasibility studies.

A budget of about S$60 million has been set aside to install the lifts from 2014. Half of them will be completed by 2016 and the remaining by 2018.

Another S$300 million will be spent on installing some 20 kilometres of noise barriers along elevated MRT tracks.

Since September, LTA has been measuring noise levels at 455 residential flats located close to such tracks.

In some locations, the noise levels were found to have exceeded the National Environment Agency's guideline of 67 decibels.

Mr Lui said residents living close to MRT viaducts, such as those in Simei, Marsiling and Dover, can expect noise levels to be reduced by about five to 10 decibels.

LTA intends to start installing the barriers from end of this year and complete them by 2020.

- CNA/al
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