Three pedestrian crossings near Sim Lim Sq


Whenever I go to Sim Lim Sq, I just can’t help wondering why there are three pedestrian crossings within walking distance of each other.


Sim Lim Sq building is located at No: 1 Rochor Canal Road at the big traffic cross junction off Jln Besar directly opposite Albert Complex (OG Building). Since it is situated at the traffic cross junction, there is a built-in traffic lights crossing for pedestrians.


The second traffic lights crossing is located at the other end of Sim Lim building after the ERP gantry. From the first to the second traffic pedestrian crossings, it’s about 50 metres of walking distance. Just directly above this second pedestrian crossing is a concrete overhead covered bridge – the third pedestrian over the air crossing!


Granted that there is much human traffic in and around Sim Lim Sq vicinity but do we need three pedestrian crossings within short walking distance of each other?

From my observation, the concrete overhead bridge is under utilized. It’s a white elephant. No one bothers to walk up the flight of stairs to use it. Most of them prefer to use the traffic lights crossing directly below the overhead bridge.


To justify the huge cost of building the overhead concrete bridge connecting Sim Lim Sq to Albert Complex (OG) by claiming that it serves it’s purpose during raining doesn’t make any sense at all. If that is the case, why not connect all the buildings in town with covered concrete bridges? What a waste of money and resources!

The covered concrete overhead pedestrian bridge linking Sim Lim Sq to Albert Complex costs a lot of money. Who pays for it? Where did the money come from? I understand that LTA pays half and the building owner pays the balance half. Pls correct me if I’m wrong.


I do not care about the building owner spending such unnecessary money but I do care about how our public money is spent. Is this another case of blind spending of taxpayers’ money to build a white elephant? If it is not squandering public funds building an expensive concrete over-head bridge with another parallel pedestrian crossing underneath, then please tell me what it is? Bizarre creativity for the convenience of the public? Really?


Whenever I use the pedestrian crossing underneath that “white elephant”, I always wonder why did they build that concrete bridge? Too much money to throw away? I hope someone could enlighten me. What a langgar epic monument of city planning by LTA or whatever department!

The other obvious stupidity is that why is there a traffic lights pedestrian crossing underneath the concrete overhead bridge giving unnecessary inconvenience to motorists. Before he could shift from second to third gear, the driver faces another traffic lights within fifty metres? Really langgar!

What do you think? Pls feel free to post your comments. All comments are welcome.


About Gintai_昇泰

I'm a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of Singapore. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I write for pleasure. I also write mainly for my family and friends.
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46 Responses to Three pedestrian crossings near Sim Lim Sq

  1. agongkia says:

    Since the bridges are overhead build,tearing it down would be a waste although they are under utilise.
    Let pedestrians have a choice between a bridge or using pedestrian crossing.
    Who knows one day I may need it as a shelter and sleep there when I am made homeless.

    This overhead bridge spending is acceptable for safety reason.We must think of the elderly pedestrian and not for the motorist.
    But you should suggest that they do away with that “overhead bridge” that can make one poorer when one drive through it. .
    Overhead bridges are meant to make one safer and not make one poorer..

    • Hi agongkia,
      Good morning. Thks for your comments.
      I’m not suggesting that we tear down the concrete overhead bridge. So much money already spent for it. It won’t make sense to tear it down right?
      If you feel that safety is important over a normal traffic lights crossing then maybe we shld replace all with overhead bridges. The govt may then have to resort to printing more money to finance this expenditure at the expense of other social expenditure and benefits!
      If you are considering of using it as homeless shelter I say forget it. They will lock you up in some desolated home for the aged and vagabond. No way they will let you sleep there. Stop dreaming about that. Langgar!

      • agongkia says:

        Cannot tell one not to be a phua kay because I am a nobody but I am one who is supportive of more over head bridges for pedestrian and do not consider this as unnecessary cost. .The cost can be recover back easily and can even make profit out of it if they know how.

        Allow advertising at the side of the bridge and they can recover back the building cost by collecting advertisement fees .They can also put dummy or install camera on the bridge to monitor traffic or collect summon on speeding or bus lane offences instead of wasting money on those make to stand besides the road and videotape offenders.
        The advertising banner or board at the side can also act as a cover so as to allow those mei meis on miniskirt using it without much worry of exposing their upper leg or colourful underwear and also prevent cheekopek driver from looking up thus reducing accident.

        Some overhead bridges actually cause accident instead of reducing accident because some drivers like me like to “look up”………….

        • Good suggestions. Also not to forget to put up banners advising drivers not to look up! Tell them to drive carefully. This is to avoid more langgar cases.

          • Francis says:

            correct me if i’m wrong. The bridge has been there for more than 2 decades. Whether it justify by blocking the rain is no longer important because the money has already been spent building that, notwithstanding it still has ongoing maintenace fee.
            As long as the building management still continue paying its fee, i do not see any reason why it should not be left alone. I’m sure it make good as a heritage then.

            What is more important now is to justify current expense over recent purchase like Bromptongate and creative accounting involved in Temasek/GicGate discovered by Chris balding (hope he still get to keep his hair in future to come).

          • Totally agreed. I’m not saying that we tear down the bridge. But why another crossing below it? I’m using this case as example lah. You just spoke for us. Thks.

  2. Odious says:


  3. NUS Boy says:


    This one i feel i must comment.

    I honestly think that this particular post quite trivial. No offense.

    Singapore so big (or small) confirm not everything is done under excellent judgement. The issue is whether there is a lot of white elephant or if it is just a few, why harp on this particular one.

    For all you know 50 years ago this overhead bridge was relevant but now it is obsolete.

    The 3 forms of crossing could have been build in during different periods of time when it was relevant then but useless now.

    • Agreed. The question is why another traffic lights crossing right below the overhead bridge? The traffic lights need to be maintained and powered. There is another traffic crossing at the cross junction just a short distance away. Why waste unnecessary money to maintain that traffic lights crossing? Trivial or not is subjective. Spending $2.2K on a branded bike may be trivial to the rich but not to the poor living from day to day eking out a living. When it’s public money, every cent counts. Triviality shld not be factored in.

      • NUS Boy says:

        I stand corrected. You are right, triviality shouldn’t be factored when i comes to public spending.
        But i do truly think that your time spent on blogging can be used to cover greater issue (like wasteful spending in general rather than home in on this). Not that i should have a say in what you post though. Just my 2 cents.

  4. Pingback: Daily SG: 19 July 2012 | The Singapore Daily

  5. the singaporean from Perth says:

    Let me share with you something similar. Somewhere in CCK where I used to live, there was a time where I experience 3 road humps within 15 metres. 15 metres ok, not 150 metres. Should have taken a picture of that.

    • Yup. Pls take a picture when you come back. I’ll post it here. It’s another classic case of waste and profligation of public funds. They are more careful with their own money but not public money cuz it doesn’t belong to them.

      • agongkia says:

        Those road humps built closely to one another are meant to reduce speed at places with heavy human traffic for the safety of pedestrian so we should bear with it.
        There are many more phua kay cases that I came across but many have overlook. .

        • Agongkia,
          Please tell us more “Puay Kay” cases. We would like to hear from you. For example spending $5 millions to call Marina Bay Marina Bay or throwing nearly $400 million on children’s games? Don’t want to say sorry some more. Is it?

      • G says:

        It’s not a waste of money. It’s called traffic calming which is a deliberate intention “to slow or reduce motor-vehicle traffic in order to improve the living conditions for residents as well as to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists” (see Wikipedia entry on traffic calming). If stopping cars from whizzing by areas with high proportion of senior citizens or young schoolkids (just imagine someone close to you who is young or old) helps to save their lives, would you still think that it is still a waste of money? Unless you think that their lives are not worth the amount spent on the traffic calming improvements…

        • Of traffic calming is important. But we are talking about within 50 metres, we have another set of traffic lights. Do you propose every 50 metres on all our public roads to have this “calming” effect? If that is so, then I say even if the country has got oil wells or gold mines, it won’t be enough to fund this kind of public expenditure. What’s the opportunity costs? Have you ever wondered about the bigger picture?

          • G says:

            That exactly is the point of traffic calming – to place the priorities of pedestrians over that of motorists. And since when did I claim to want to have it on all public roads? I was originally referring to the humps not being a waste of money but anyway, what I’m saying is that traffic calming should be done in areas with high proportion of senior citizens or young schoolkids (e.g. near polyclinics, schools). And for older people with mobility problems, 50 metres can be a long distance to walk – you could shave off minutes of travelling for an elderly pedestrian as compared to seconds of travelling for a driver.

          • Ok. Points taken. I quite agree with you on that.

          • G says:

            Oh and I forgot to add about the bigger picture: With an aging population in Singapore, it is only right that we should ramp up the creation of a safer and more secure environment for the elderly.
            And too often, opportunity costs only take into account dollars and cents – they don’t take into account the priceless lives saved through safer environments.

          • There need to be a balance in the limited budget. Instead of pumping in more money for more overhead bridges given the fact that the elderly folks loath climbing up the stairs, why not use the funds for more health care related subsidy? Got it?

  6. Darling says:

    Jus to campur or kaypoh a little bit here, i believe the pedestrian crossings were created for the pious elderlies that go to the ‘Kwan Imm’ Temple as well as the many shops there that sell worship
    paraphernalias. The Authority could also build escalators for them, however, me suspects that it would be more costly and less safe for oldies.

    Anyway, the cost involved in the pedestrian crossings are chicken and peanuts compare to one en-bloc development and there were/are tens of enbloc done and going on.

    I believe there is no need to cry for the loss of a few dollars when hundreds of thousands and millions were willfully and senselessly spent. Looking for logic and sensibility here will be waste of time on top of suffering heartache.


    • Hi Darling,
      I understand your concerns for the old folks. You are also one of them. I’ll soon be joining you. Fact is those old folks or anybody for that matter hardly use it. That is why I declare it to be a white elephant. Just go there and observe for half a day to confirm what I said here.
      Whether its few dollars or few hundreds, it’s still public money NOT your grandfather’s money. I make no apology for holding those public servants to task for being “Puay Kay!” like agongkia just said. I’ll langgar if I see hard earned money wasted like that. This is only an example. I’m sure there are more cases of such nature. All becuz it’s money from “Ah Gong” so they don’t care.

  7. Frankie Tan Kim Cheng says:

    May I make a simple comment on this issue.
    The overhead bridge links two buildings, Albert Complex housing OG and Sim Lim Square. I am not 100% sure but I think this overhead bridge was funded mainly by the owners of these two buildings with little if nothing funded from public money. Sometime later, the access from OG department store was boarded up for some reasons, maybe because of saving one security guard exiting the store onto the bridge. This departmental store has an obnoxious habit of stationing a security guard at every exit to make sure you don’t leave without paying! Thus with the closure of the exit from the store, the overhead bridge appears underutilized.

    The question now arise and it’s something for the URA’s Building control people to answer is why OG was allowed to board the exit to this overhead bridge from their store as this inconveniences pedestrians who before could take an escalator ride to the second floor of OG to gain access to this overhead bridge. For Sim Lim square, the access has never been closed.

    This overhead bridge may appear to be just a little white elephant now, but once it was an energetic normal elephant. Whatever happened to this elephant, those tasked with animal health may want to dig deeper for a clearer insight.

    • Hi Frankie,
      Thks for your insightful comment. When I asked my fren SM Chia about the construction costs of the “white elephant”, I was told that usually the building owners pay half and LTA or govt agency will pay the other half. He quoted the case of the tunnel construction costs leading to Tangs dept store. It was settled out of court due to some dispute with LTA.
      Yes, I think some experts need to revive this white elephant as it appears under utilized. This is my observation whenever I pass by that place. You may check it out if you doubt my view. Thks.

      • Kuaychap_kia says:


        If you are not privy to the funding information, please don’t comment. Otherwise you are only inciting displeasure among people. Not that you called URA and have evidence that public money is spent. Otherwise you are making false allegation against the government and can be taken to task.

        • If you read my article carefully, I did qualify myself by saying “Pls correct me if I’m wrong.” As such, I stand corrected. If information is easily available like in the US, do you think we will just guess around? So no worry. When you langgar, there bound to be casualties. It’s only whether it’s serious or fatal. We have to perish one day so why worry so much?
          Anyway, by constructing a traffic lights crossing underneath the overhead bridge also costs lots of money. It’s not cheap. Even now, it still need to be maintained. Why duplicate the same purpose? Like you say “Phua Kay?” is it?
          I plan to stop blogging on 20/10/12 – exactly one yr after I started. In the meantime just enjoy where we can. Not to worry about me.

          • Hi, Gintai,
            Stop blogging on 20/10/12? Why?. I love your incisive posts!

            James Lim

          • Datuk Taxi,
            I need to catch up on my reading lah. There are so many good books I wanna read. Blogging can be quite tedious lah. Moreover, some ppl may not like the way I langgar. Sometimes, I just can’t control it. I just can’t help it if I write something. I’ll contd to read blogs like yours and post comments.
            It’s time to move on to something else. Just like what you told your German lady pax, we all love Sg but not necessarily the current administration. I’m sure all the bloggers out there feel the same way. Our intention is not to “destroy” but only to criticize. We don’t do that kind of treacherous thing to our own country. We all love our own country in our own different ways.
            Thks for your comments.

          • agongkia says:

            Every day when I on my PC,the first thing I do is to visit your blog .
            Your plan to stop make me sad.I will become senile if I dun langgar with you.But langgar may not be a bad thing,just like to provoke your thought .
            Common sense will tell one that traffic light are not funded by shopping centres.
            Keep blogging. I will keep my liang teh aside and give you 2 tigers instead.Keep it up.

          • Dear agongkia,
            I have yet to receive your reply to my invitation to EM next Fri. I would like to thank you for your unwavering support.
            There is another 3 more months to go before I rest my pen. In the meantime, it’s business as usual. I’ll spend time to write a few more “incisive” articles before my time / dateline is up. I have already left my footprints in cyberspace. I have shown to the gods quite a few perspectives from a common layman’s angle. I do not wish to intrude further and snap the thin line at the risk of incurring the wrath of the gods. Langgarism has its limits. We have yet to reach that kind of liberal ideals in our own lifetime. But it’s changing and moving towards that direction. Maybe our children will enjoy that kind of liberty. There is no ending feast in this world as the Chinese saying goes. There will come a time when we need to depart and move on. It is whether we choose to do it at our own pleasure or for nature to take its course and decide for us the timing. I would prefer to choose my timing rather than leave it to nature or chance.
            I’m a meticulous person who loves to plan in advance. But whatever plans we may have, it’s still subject to nature’s disposition. The stars still influence our destiny. Nevertheless, we still need to exercise our best intuition within nature’s constrain.

          • Anonymous says:

            Though I dont read your blog often due to my busy schedule, I think you can still continue blogging but do settings to prevent from public access, like me. I have a personal blog but no one can see or read it. From: Nora

          • Nora,
            Thks for your suggestion.

  8. Joanne Moslina Jacobs says:

    Come to B Panjang, Petir Road and B. Panjang Rd, and you will be even more incredulous. The Town Council built covered linkways running the ENTIRE STRETCH of both roads even when the HDB blocks alongside them are already linked with covered linkways!!! How stupid can it get, this mindless squandering of public money.

    • You see it’s not how much you earn that’s important. It’s how you manage your lifestyle. Some earn $5K a month but still struggling with debts cuz he need to maintain his car, condo, maid, yearly expensive tours, branded clothing, dinning etc
      Whereas I earn only $2.2K as a train driver with some extra income from OT, yet I could live a debt free lifestyle cuz I live a simple life without all those luxuries.
      If the TC splashes money and “Phua Kay” like what you said, no matter how much conservancy fees they collect will nvr be enug. They will keep increasing your conservancy fees to keep on spending on “stupid” things. If I’m not wrong those opp wards collect lesser conservancy fees. Why?
      Manage and live within your means is the same principle as running a TC or the country’s purse. It’s pure common sense and logic. No need to be a smart scholar to understand this simple fact of life. Just remember money doesn’t drop from the sky. It has got to come from somewhere.

  9. auntielucia says:

    I agree with Frankie Tan’s comment re OG shutting the door and thus making the bridge a white elephant. It used to be so convenient to go to OG and then Sim Lim Sq n vice versa. But no more. Mayb what you shld concentrate your efforts on is getting the OG folks to reopen the door. Another post on the subject K and if you are successful, I will become yr grateful follower. I will even give your blog a link on my blog (big deal, not!!)

    • Aunt Lucia,
      How I wish I could grant your wish. If I got the power, I will surely grant you that wish. But I’m can’t.
      If you link my blog to yours, it will be an honour. I look forward it.
      Thank you for your suggestion.

  10. says:

    Hi Gintai,

    When/if you meet Minister Shanmugam (or any other VIP) next, I hope you would please ask him or her if there is any truth in this blog, Try the latest 12 July one first.

    Meanwhile, perhaps you might want to comment yourself – since this blog affects ALL Singaporeans and PRs too.

    • Hi,
      Minister Shanmugam is a man. I know of this blog you are talking about.
      Fact is that our currency is getting stronger each day. It’s now 2.5 times of our nearest neighbour. It’s also gaining against others.
      Another fact is that we are a very tiny country with no resources. We got nothing at all. Unlike our much larger neighbours who got tons of resources even though they may be cash poor. If we fall, we are dead. Whereas, if our much neighbours fall, they will never die. They will survive no matter how cuz they got oil, gas, rice, oil palm, timber, tin, rubber, mountains, rivers, plenty of land etc. Do we have any of those resources? Financial wizards like George Soros can wipe out your tons of cash overnight but they can’t wipe out all the country’s resources overnight. That is the difference between them and us! Do we have a choice? LKY did say publicly on national TV in 1990 that in fifty years’ time, we may have no choice but to go back to where we came from when he made his last ND rally speech. Do you think he said it for fun for pure entertainment? You may not like him but he spoke the truth. Maybe not in fifty years. Maybe slightly more than fifty years? Fact is we are nothing. We are just too small to do anything. We are just shrimps in the cruel treacherous part of the world. That is also a fact whether you agree or not. We must always remember this reality or we will perish sooner than later.

      • L says:

        bro, your reply is irrelevant. achieving strong financial status doesn’t exempt anyone from being transparent.. these are 2 diff issues…. its like saying i have been doing charity work for decades so i now have the license to commit crimes… langgar?

        • Yup. Langgar. You are correct. I’m sure they have their bunch of cyber cops to monitor everything in the cyber world. I’m sure they know abt it. Like I say in other comment – In our lifetime, we won’t have that degree of transparency or freedom like in the West.

  11. G says:

    I take issue with your preference of providing convenience to motorists rather than pedestrians.

    I’m all for making driving as inconvenient as possible for motorists. Making driving a pain will shift people towards more environmentally friendly modes such as public transport, cycling or walking. By encouraging people to adopt active transportation modes like cycling and walking, we have happier people with better health, which also leads to a lower burden on healthcare expenditure in the long run. Too often, LTA has been planning with a myopic focus on moving about cars (rather than people) as efficiently as possible and at the expense of environmental and social sustainability.

    Also given a choice, I’d rather money be spent on concrete bridges to carry pedestrians than more roads and expressways (much more expensive investment) to carry more cars. Why should everybody’s hard-earned tax money go to fund roads that can only be used by an exclusive group of vehicle that can afford to own their personal vehicles? After all, everybody is a pedestrian at some point in time, but not everyone is a driver.

    • Your logic centres on private car drivers only. Do not forget that public roads are used by all kinds of drivers – not necessarily private car owners. The vans, lorries, buses etc also use our road. You may not driver but I’m sure you take buses and taxis. Our roads are the lifeline of our economic activity. It’s a question of balance. Can we remove all vehicles for the sake of go green? Environment is important but can it feed you? That is the question my fren.

      • G says:

        Likewise, your logic centres only on motorized travel and all about the convenience for motorists, so I was addressing your point from a non-motorized travel perspective. Anyway, since most traffic congestion is contributed by the private car drivers, if we can get them out to use public buses or cycle or walk (e.g. through the design of supporting infrastructure), then all the better for the environment and it also creates more road space for goods movement, buses and taxis, leading to faster travel times for them.

        Finally you’re saying that the environment is important, but less so than the economy since it can’t feed us right now. Wait till Singapore starts to flood from rising sea levels and see how everyone is so “well-fed” by the abundant supplies of water everywhere. Plus I’m sure people will be rejoicing at the promising business opportunities arising from the newly created canals that were previously roads. New businesses selling lifeboats and lifejackets will start to thrive, so yeah maybe the environment can feed us in the future, but not right now.

        • The environment problem is a big challenge. We are not the main culprits. Those big developing countries are the main contributors to environment degradation. We are actually too small to make an impact. But still we need to do our bit.

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