Veteran architect Tay Kheng Soon has revealed that his Member of Parliament, Murali Pillai, has promised to bring up his ideas on how to reduce clashes between pedestrians and Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) without resorting to a ban to Senior Minister of State Desmond Lee.
Following a spate of PMD-related accidents, the Government announced on 4 Nov that all e-scooters will be banned from public footpaths and that e-scooter riders may now only use their PMDs on cycling and park connector network paths. The new rule was introduced suddenly and went into effect the very next day, on 5 Nov.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA), a statutory board under the Ministry of Transport, will issue a warning to those who flout the ban during the grace period from 5 Nov to 31 Dec. From 1 Jan 2020, those caught riding e-scooters on public footpaths will face fines of up to S$2,000 and/or imprisonment of up to three months.
Mr Tay, the architect behind iconic structures in Singapore like KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Golden Mile Complex and the People’s Park Complex, said earlier that he does not believe punitive measures like fines and jail terms are the way forward in preventing clashes between pedestrians and PMD users.
Asserting that this is not too difficult an issue and that careful planning can help resolve clashes, Mr Tay offered to lead a team to help find solutions. He also said that he will be meeting ruling party parliamentarian Murali Pillai to discuss short-term, mid-term and long-term solutions to better avoid conflicts between PMD users and pedestrians.
Last Thursday (14 Nov), Mr Tay updated on Facebook that his meeting with Mr Pillai went well and that the MP will put forth his ideas to Senior Minister of State for National Development, Desmond Lee.
Revealing that he has proposed that there must be different solutions for different conditions in preventing PMD-pedestrian clashes, Mr Tay wrote:
“I had a good meeting with Mr Murali last night. He agreed that the issue is that PMDs are a new phenomenon not factored into town planning as yet. He will set up a meeting with Desmond Lee of MND to discuss my ideas that there have to be different solutions for different conditions to be encountered in separating pmds from pedestrians and that these are related to road categories 3, 4 and 5.”
“5 are carpark roadways. Category 1 ie. highways prohibit cycles and pmds anyway. Therefore the issues are primarily to be addressed in housing estates in the access, neighbourhood roads and car parks. I suggested that in category 4 two-way single lane roads it is easy to set aside a green side-lane for bikes and pmds as in european countries.”
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