Sunday, May 12, 2013

Overhead bridge lifts are here and overdue

A lift at an overhead bridge in Khatib.

I felt it was illogical when I first sighted a lift installed at an overhead bridge at the entrance of Botanic Garden. I have seen escalators at overhead bridges in our neighbourhoods but a lift is certainly my first encounter and a luxury for our prudent-always public amenities. Certainly will be a very practical installation for our increasing number of seniors and also for those less mobile living in a mature estate but the issue is the location chosen. At Botanic Garden. Who do you think the intended users are? 

The first neighbourhood overhead bridge lift finally came a few years later to Khatib MRT last month. In a neighbourhood with growing number of seniors and those who require assistance to tackle stairs living in the neighbourhood, and at a high human traffic location whether weekdays or weekends, indicates a more dire need of a lift installation to Khatib overhead bridge than Botanic Garden. Not implying over here that the lift at the Botanic Garden is a white elephant but taking issue with the basis of priority where genuine needs were not respected and attended to. Botanic Garden does have its own crowds to serve and a lift would provide convenience for families with prams and seniors but honestly, the lift will not benefit the users on a daily basis as it is for the residents in Khatib.

Finally, we can see efforts taken to address the decade-old issue of an ageing population on a logistic perspective in small steps. First with wider fare-gates at the MRT, wheelchair-accessible MRT carriages and lifts and then wheelchair-friendly buses and now overhead bridge lifts which all in my opinion are long overdue. 

It would certainly be appreciated if the same efficiency in handling challengers to our political realm such as suing bloggers or arresting cartoonist, to be practised in responding to the genuine needs of our own citizens.