A newly built bicycle lane at Yishun was demolished the day after its construction was completed.
Residents are bemused that the reason is to make way for a new bus-stop. LTA explained that there is a problem with its coordination and will strive for improvement.
Lim Yew Sih, a 51-year-old IT professional, wrote to ST Forum on 31 December 2014 to complain that a newly completed bicycle path along Yishun Central opposite NorthPoint was demolished even before the public could use it.
Interviewed by the media, Mr Lim said that for the past 3 to 4 months, a bicycle path was being built along that stretch of the road, and residents passing by were required to make a detour.
He is a cycling enthusiast and welcomed an earlier announcement by LTA for a network of bicycle paths being built within Yishun Town. This network is supposed to be ready by January 2015. Mr Lim was anticipating its early completion.
In December, the bicycle path seemed to be completed with the surrounding barricades removed. To his surprise, the next day he saw an excavator demolishing the newly completed bicycle path.
According to his understanding, the authority wanted to demolish the bicycle path to make way for a new bus stop. He estimated the length of the demolished bicycle path to be about 100 metres.
Mr Lim told the media that he is puzzled as to why LTA wasted resources constructing the bicycle path if there was already a plan in place to erect a new bus stop.
He questioned how much resources have been wasted.
Also, this is not the first time Mr Lim has witnessed alack of coordination in carrying out public works among organisations. Once, someone excavated the road for cable laying and upon completion, the road was resurfaced and tarred. Within the next few days, another group of people excavated the same stretch of road for other infrastructure work.
He hopes that the newly formed Municipal Services Office can improve these situations.
LTA admitted that there was a problem with its coordination. Nonetheless, it was an isolated case, LTA said. The following is LTA’s official reply on ST Forum (17 Jan):
We thank Mr Edward Lim Yew Sih for his feedback (“New bicycle path demolished before being open to public”; Forum Online, Dec 31).
We admit to an error in coordination on our part.
The Land Transport Authority works to coordinate infrastructure works in an estate to minimise disruption to residents. This is very important as we are in the midst of a substantial expansion of many commuter, pedestrian and cycling initiatives.
In the case of the stretch of new cycling path along Yishun Central, we should have ensured more effective coordination internally, to have identified early the eventual necessity for a new bus stop at the same stretch.
This is an isolated incident. Nevertheless, we have used it as an example to further improve coordination between different projects to prevent inconvenience and disruption.
Helen Lim (Ms)
Director, Media Relations
Land Transport Authority
Replying to media enquiries, LTA also said, “We are currently embarking on a sizable scale of expansion projects for passengers, pedestrians and cyclists. Coordination is very important.”
“We should have better internal coordination for this new bicycle path along Yishun Central, to discover earlier the need of a new bus-stop along the same stretch of road,” it said.
Again, stressing that it was an isolated incident, it said, “This is an isolated incident. Nonetheless, we have used it as an example to improve coordination between different projects, so as to avoid inconvenience and concerns.”