Pedestrian Crossings, Who Needs Them?


By Vincent Tan

They cover our clean highways in ugly white stripes and are nearly ubiquitous, but one may ask, who needs them?

“What are you talking about?” I hear you say. “How else can we get across the road?”

Well, animals get by without them well enough. Many of the species that tried to cross are still around. Also, has anyone heard of the golden dash of desperation? Yes, most of us do find the inner strength to really pick up our pace once we are staring down an oncoming car’s headlights (just don’t stare like some deer).

“How can we get to our parks, food courts, or homes if we can’t cross safely? Roads are everywhere!” I hear you cry.

Well, life is risky. No pain, no gain. Road travel in any case takes precedence over road safety (that is the fixed definition of road-ness). It’s true that you did not ask for the road to be built there between you and your school, boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s home or favourite watering hole, you truly had no say. However once it has been built, do we really want to spoil the straight level asphalt aesthetic with the plant-fringed arc of a bridge? Remember the image we’re trying to cultivate for Singapore, people!

In conclusion, it is too much time, too much money and, most importantly, too much bother to build walkways, or underpasses, or – for crying out loud – overhead bridges, specially to give pedestrians a car-free journey. If animals don’t need them, why do we? My recommendation is to just wing it like the pangolin, civet, snake, monitor lizard, macaque, turtle and leopard cat. (Look at how far the Frogger approach has gotten even endangered species – they’re still around!) After all what’s the worst that can happen?