NParks may close off sections of green spaces if they get too crowded

Over 500 NParks personnel deployed to manage crowds in green spaces.

Ashley Tan | April 03, 2021, 07:17 PM

You might have caught sight of photos of depicting the throngs of people gathered at Singapore's green spaces recently.

Or, you might even have been one of those stuck in the human traffic there.

On Good Friday (Apr. 2), the Rail Corridor resembled pre-Covid-19 Chinatown during Chinese New Year, with hordes of visitors amassed on Bukit Timah Road Truss Bridge.

Similar scenes were seen at MacRitchie as well.

Stepping up patrols

On Apr. 3, Sim Ann, MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC provided an update on the situation via a Facebook Live video.

With her was Ben Cheung, Chairman of the Mayfair Park Neighbourhood Committee, who shared that they had received feedback of an overwhelming number of visitors at such areas, and Lim Liang Jim, Group Director of Conservation under the National Parks Board (NParks).

Lim shared that to manage to crowds, NParks had deployed over 500 personnel to all parks, nature reserves and green spaces in Singapore.

These personnel would patrol the area and advise visitors to observe safe management measures such as keeping to a maximum of eight people per group, keeping more than two metres apart between groups, and wearing masks when walking or not participating in strenuous exercise.

In the background of the video, traffic appeared moderate, with a number of visitors walking and cycling past.

Drones too

While officers are on the ground, NParks is also utilising technology like drones to help monitor crowd levels.

The agency has been using such technology since April last year. At such a high vantage point, the drones can obtain visitorship updates quickly and complement ground observations by NParks officers.

The use of drones also gives them a better sense of the density of visitors in a specific area.

NParks may close off crowded sections

Lim also encouraged people to check out NParks' real-time map, which provides live updates on the visitorship levels at  Singapore's green spaces.

This allows visitors to make more informed choices, such as visiting during off-peak hours or on weekdays, and is so "everybody can have a more stress free experience when going out to our green spaces".

Lim added that should the crowds at a specific area become too dense, NParks will consider closing off that section of the green space.

You can watch Sim's full video here.

Top photo from Lianhe Wanbao and X-Trekkers / FB