LTA/URA please build a short walk path to connect Mt Sophia with Orchard Road (Handy Rd).
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In the past, there were several easements, private roads and elevators which the residents from Sophia Road, Adis Road, Wilkie Road, and Mt Emily could use to get from Mt Sophia to Orchard Road quickly and easily. It used to take a few minutes to walk from Sophia Road to Dhoby Ghaut MRT and bus station. This is not possible now.
These short cuts traditionally enabled residents to avoid the long detour around Mt Sophia. It was necessary for the elderly, pregnant mothers, parents with young children. 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 bus station.
However, the easements have all been removed by the new construction developments. There is only a very long and steep staircase at Cathay Cinema available for the residents to regularly use.
The other steep staircase at 8@Sophia condo which at one time was open to the public has limited access now; the management will be close it permanently to the public by the end of the year.
Both are unsuitable for the daily use of the residents of the housing in this area, especially young mothers with babies and young children and senior citizens. Several people have already fallen and injured themselves using the staircase.
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 large numbers of condominiums.
Unfortunately, there was inadequate provision for efficient pedestrian access for the new residents to Orchard Road. The removal of the easements has made the situation worse.
I wrote a few letters regarding the unsuitability of the design of the steep staircase at 8@Sophia and I met with the then Minister for Development who agreed it was a health and safety issue and a short pathway should be considered.
The LTA/URA did consider building a public elevator too but the idea got shelved.
But without easy walking access to Sophia Road from Handy Road/Orchard Road, it makes life extremely difficult for the elderly, the infirm, mothers with babies and young children. It forces too many people to rely on cars for daily transportation. Parents have to ferry their children to school. 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. The inconvenience increases the level of traffic in this small area.
Consequently, the traffic congestion in this area is terrible in the morning and afternoon.
"Traffic assessment by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) noted that around 600 cars travel to the school daily." Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/parents-concerns-st-margaret-s-primary-macpherson-move-10538194
The staircase currently available is too difficult to use regularly by the elderly, parents with young children and babies. Surely the LTA and URA should do all it can to assist the young families and elderly residents of the area.
There is also no loop bus service that services Middle Road connecting Bugis/ Rochor / Bencoolen MRT and Suntec City - this increases the volume of car traffic unnecessarily.
To ease the traffic congestion and to assist the many new residents of this area, we ask the LTA/URA to build an easy walking path to link Mt Sophia with Handy Road/Orchard Road. The disused road next to Mt Sophia could be used for this purpose. It is currently overgrown with weeds - it can be linked to the taxi stand area at Plaza Singapura via a pedestrian access.
An elevator and underground pedestrian access could also be built between Cathay Residence and Nomu linking Mt Sophia with Handy Road.
If security is an issue, access to the pathway and the lift could be restricted by issuing keycards. People have to register (and pay) to obtain a keycard.
Please sign and share this petition if you agree and believe a short walking path connecting Mt Sophia to Handy Road is much needed. It is free.
The more votes we can get for this petition, the better the chances of its success.
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