The hoardings around Bencoolen Street have come down, giving the public a glimpse of some of its new pedestrian-friendly features. These include a wider pedestrian walkway and a dedicated cycling path, in addition to the 125 bicycle parking spaces that will line the street, announced last year as part of Singapore’s car-lite drive. These were carved from two of the four lanes that previously made up the 450m stretch of road. A third lane now acts as a dedicated bus lane.
Parts of the pavement remain closed to the public but are expected to open soon. The stretch was closed for more than five years due to construction of the Bencoolen MRT station, which is scheduled to open later this year as part of the third phase of the Downtown Line.
Students from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa) in Bencoolen Street welcomed the wider pathway. “It’s much more spacious now,” said Ms Wahyu Rosli, 22, an advertising student. The street will soon also feature benches designed by Nafa students and alumni, as part of a collaboration with the Land Transport Authority and the Urban Redevelopment Authority, to add “a touch of creativity to the streetscape”.
Firms in the area hope that business, which saw a decline over the past few years because of construction work, will pick up.
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Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.