More Car-free Sundays Coming This October
Cyclists that frequent the central business district and Civic district can expect the Car-free Sundays scheme return late this year.
The current scheme, which closes of roads around the two mentioned areas to all vehicles, was implemented by the Urban Redevelopment Authority last February. This is part of the government’s efforts to make Singapore a “car-lite” nation.
“It has been a tremendous success,” said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong. “The response has been very positive, with a few thousand people taking part each month”
There are several planned changes to the current scheme, such as changing routes an expanding the car-free zone, giving people more options to walk and cycle. URA hopes that the scheme becomes a permanent feature of the Civic District, although there is no confirmation how long the October scheme will last.
More Than Reducing Cars
“The vision is not just about using cars less but it is about making public spaces friendly and vibrant so that people can see that there is a benefit in having a car-free zone,” said Mr. Wong.
“If there are community groups or organisations that would like to take this idea and implement it in the HDB heartland, we would very much like to do so as well.”
At the 5th Car-free Sunday this week, the URA invited volunteers to help make and distribute food to the participants. Other volunteers included Play It Forward, a group that specializes in restoring old pianos and making them available for public access. Pianos were placed along the Singapore River for people to use.
Cyclists, Both Old and New
Among the cyclists that participated in the event included 27-year old bakery supervisor Mrs. Chan Shi Kee and her 3-year old son, Yu Jun. She said her son enjoyed it and that they “will definitely come back in the future”.
Among the more experienced participants is cycling advocate Han Jok Kwang. Having attended four of the previous Car-free Sundays since February, he is open to the idea of introducing the event in the heartland.