LTA/URA please build a short walk path to connect Mt Sophia with Orchard Road (Handy Rd).

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Due to recent construction developments, residents living on the southern side of Mt Sophia, Sophia Road, Adis Road, Mt Emily and Wilkie Road do not have easy quick access to Orchard Rd/ DhobyGhaut MRT bus station despite living very close to it.

We plan to petition the URA/LTA to build an easy shortcut from Mt Sophia to Dhoby Ghaut MRT. There is an old disused road between 2 Mt Sophia and 8 Mt Sophia which is ideal for this purpose. On SLA / URA records, it is denoted as Road Reserve TS19-00592W. Its currently a dead end.

Prior to the construction of new condos on Mt Sophia in 2006 -2007, there were several easements, private roads, and even elevators which the residents could use to get from Mt Sophia to Orchard Road quickly and easily. It used to take a few minutes to get from Sophia Road to Dhoby Ghaut MRT and bus station. There is no convenient access now.

http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_482_2004-12-27.html

These easy shortcuts enabled residents to avoid the long detour around Mt Sophia. It was necessary for the elderly, expectant mothers, parents with young children, and people with disabilities, etc.. It also helped students of St Margaret's Primary School and MGS to get to school or get home easily via the Dhoby Ghaut MRT or the bus stop on Orchard Road.

However, the easements have all been removed by the recent condo construction developments. There is now only a very long and steep staircase at Cathay Cinema available for the residents to regularly use. Its 180+ steps. It is dark and dimly lit. 

There was also another very steep staircase at the 8@Sophia condo which URA had slated for public use; but the management at 8@Sophia eventually closed it off to the public because, apparently, too many people fell using it.

Even so, the steep staircase shortcuts are unsuitable for daily public use, especially pregnant women, young mothers with babies, and senior citizens. 

Compounding the problem is the increase in the number of residents. The area of Mt Sophia, Mt Emily, Adis Road, and Sophia Road which was formerly occupied by colonial shophouses and private bungalows has recently seen a dramatic population increase due to their replacement by modern condos. 

Unfortunately, there was inadequate provision for efficient pedestrian access for the new residents of the area. The removal of the easements has made the situation worse. 

Without easy walking access to Handy Road/Orchard Road, it makes daily commute extremely difficult for residents who are elderly, infirm, mothers with babies and young children - esp. the students of St Margaret Primary School. It forces too many people to rely on cars for daily transportation.

"Traffic assessment by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) noted that around 600 cars travel to the school daily." 

Parents have to ferry their children to school. Office Workers have to drive their cars or hail taxis to get to work or take a 15 to 20 minute walk to the bus and MRT stations. Consequently, the traffic congestion in this area is terrible in the morning and afternoon. The inconvenience increases the level of traffic in this small area unnecessarily.

Residents cannot rely on the public staircase constructed at the top of Mt Sophia which are too steep and too difficult to be used regularly, esp. elderly and young parents with children.

The Solution

To assist the many new residents of this area and ease car traffic use, we ask the LTA/URA to build an easy short walking path connecting  Mt Sophia with Handy Road/Orchard Road. There is an old existing road, which is currently derelict and a dead end, that can be used. It is at the foot of Mt Sophia and could be used as a shortcut. The road is between the old converted Chinese school at 2 Mt Sophia Road and the new Condo at 8 Mt Sophia Road. On SLA / URA records it is noted as Road Reserve TS19-00592W.

The old road can be linked to Plaza Singapura and the Dhoby Ghaut MRT via an underground pedestrian access.

If security is an issue, access to the pathway and the lift could be restricted by issuing keycards. 

Over the years, I met with our MPs to discuss the unsuitability of the current situation and I also met with the then Minister for Development in 2010 who agreed it was a health and safety issue and a short pathway should be considered. Unfortunately, I was not able to gather enough public support to convince the URA  that this was essential for the residents.

Please sign and share this petition if you agree and believe an easy short walking path connecting Mt Sophia to Dhoby Ghaut MRT is much needed. 

The more votes we can get for this petition, the better the chances of its success.