The Land Transport Authority (LTA), in partnership with the National Parks Board (NParks) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), announced today that works to further enhance the walkability of the Civic District will commence. Since 2015, the agencies have rolled out a series of enhancements to create a green and walkable environment in the Civic District, such as providing more parks and open plazas.
2. Once works have been completed, Connaught Drive will be fully pedestrianised as an extension of Esplanade Park and the Anderson Bridge. Visitors will be able to enjoy a seamless walking experience amidst lush greenery between Esplanade Park, Empress Place and Padang, and easily access the historical and arts offerings of the area on foot. This will enhance walkability and create a more pedestrian-friendly environment in the Civic District. These plans were first announced at the Ministry of Transport’s Committee of Supply debate in March this year.
3. The start of works follows a series of engagement with various stakeholders over a four-month period since May 2021. The engagements yielded useful suggestions on ways to further improve pedestrian connectivity and wayfinding to further enhance visitors’ experience when they explore the Civic District. Agencies will continue to take into consideration stakeholders’ feedback in subsequent works to improve placemaking and wayfinding in the precinct.
Pedestrianisation Plans in Civic District
4. As part of the upcoming works to enhance walkability in the area, the following changes to traffic arrangements will be implemented from end December 2021 (Please refer to Annex A and Annex B for further information).
Pedestrianisation of Connaught Drive
i. Connaught Drive will be fully pedestrianised and closed to all vehicular traffic. The coach pick-up/drop-off points will be relocated to the nearby roundabout at Fullerton Road/Connaught Drive junction to facilitate visitors’ access by coaches.
ii. As a result, bus stop BS 02029 will be relocated to Esplanade Drive from end-December 2021. Bus services 75, 100, 107, 130, 131 and 167 which currently stop at the bus stop will be diverted to ply Esplanade Drive instead.
Pedestrianisation of Anderson Bridge/Fullerton Road
i. Anderson Bridge/Fullerton Road will be fully pedestrianised and closed to all vehicular traffic. There will be reconfiguration works at the junctions of Parliament Place/St Andrew’s Road, Fullerton Road/Connaught Drive and Fullerton Road/Esplanade Drive to facilitate the pedestrianisation.
ii. To maintain accessibility within the Civic District after Anderson Bridge/Fullerton Road has been pedestrianised, Parliament Place will reopen to all vehicular traffic from end-December 2021.
5. After the latest pedestrianisation works have been completed, to further enliven the area, the agencies will also work with stakeholders to plan open spaces to hold various outdoor programmes for visitors, to bring greater vibrancy to the entire area. According to the Civic District Alliance (CDA), “The Civic District Alliance is happy to work with LTA to increase awareness and make the precinct more welcoming to the wider community. These pedestrianisation plans are remarkable first steps to improve navigation and pedestrian connectivity not just within the area but beyond the Civic District in the future.”
MRT stations as part of Civic District’s Placemaking Efforts
6. In addition to the efforts to enhance walkability of the Civic District, LTA has worked with the Civic District Alliance, URA and Stellar Lifestyle to commence improvements to placemaking and wayfinding in the area by rolling out new signage and information posters at City Hall and Raffles Place MRT stations from today. These are aimed at creating a stronger connection between the underground stations and the precinct aboveground. The signage and posters will be located prominently along walkways leading to the station exits and wall spaces above ticketing machines near the faregates. With these posters, visitors will be able to easily obtain information on nearby iconic places of interest such as the National Gallery Singapore and The Arts House (Please refer to the Annex C for photos of the posters and their locations).
7. Mr Ng Lang, Chief Executive at LTA explained, “The Civic District is home to some of our most significant historical monuments and cultural institutions, and the birthplace of modern Singapore. This is an effort by several agencies over several years to restore the beauty of the public spaces here. We hope to offer visitors a green, idyllic and elegant cultural precinct where they can walk in leisure to enjoy a glimpse of the past without having to compete with vehicular traffic.”
8. To enable more Singaporeans to benefit, LTA intends to study public feedback and effectiveness of these placemaking and wayfinding initiatives, and work with stakeholders of other precincts of interest to bring their distinct identities into the MRT stations where possible.