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63-year-old cleaner climbs 132 steps on Bedok overhead bridge daily for work, advocates for lift installation

A 63-year-old cleaner in Bedok, known as Mr. Lim, faces a daily challenge climbing 132 steps on an overhead bridge due to his osteoporosis. He’s advocating for lift installation, highlighting accessibility concerns for the elderly and handicapped residents in the area.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is currently evaluating the need for lift installation in response to growing public demand for improved infrastructure.

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SINGAPORE: A 63-year-old cleaner in Bedok, is drawing attention to the daily struggle he faces, climbing 132 steps up and down an overhead bridge at Bedok Reservoir Road to get to work.

This enduring feat is made even more challenging as the cleaner, known as Mr Lim, has osteoporosis.

He told Shin Min Daily News that it was difficult to climb them, and expressed his hope that authorities would consider installing lifts at the bridge, making it accessible for people with impaired mobility.

In response, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said they are exploring options in the area.

Cleaner climbs overhead bridge in Bedok for work

Mr Lim resides at Blk 615 Bedok Reservoir Road and works at a factory situated opposite the bridge.

Despite living and working near the MRT, the overhead bridge forms an insurmountable obstacle for him and other elderly residents.

He mentioned that he had been climbing the bridge since he was younger, but with the passage of time, he has grown older now.

“Now that I have osteoporosis, it takes a lot of effort for me to climb up and down the stairs.

“Even though it takes around 20 minutes for me to cross the bridge, I have to do it for a living,” he said.

Shin Min reporters visited the bridge, which spans between Blk 613 Bedok Reservoir Road and Chai Chee Lane’s industrial area, and counted a total of 132 steps.

The estimated height was equivalent to climbing six HDB floors, emphasizing the physically demanding nature of this daily journey.

Accessibility concerns for the elderly and handicapped

Mr Lim’s predicament is not unique. Another cleaner, 60-year-old Ho, also has to climb the bridge to get to work.

She shared her surprise upon discovering this daily challenge after transferring to the factory near the MRT, illustrating the need for accessibility for all, particularly older individuals.

“I transferred to the factory here before the pandemic because I thought it was near the MRT.

“I didn’t know I had to climb this bridge. I’m still well enough to climb, but what about older people?” she said.

In contrast, younger residents like Song, 33, view the bridge climb as a form of “exercise,” but they empathize with the difficulties it presents for the elderly.

It’s not only the elderly who face issues; wheelchair-bound individuals are unable to use the bridge, further underscoring the need for accessible infrastructure.

Shin Min reported upon discovery that without the overhead bridge, pedestrians from Bedok Reservoir Road would need to take a bus to access Chai Chee Lane, leading to a wait of approximately one hour.

Netizen comments on infrastructure for elderly

Commenters on the internet have also been emphasizing the necessity of infrastructure like a lift on an overhead bridge.

Some have stated that Singapore’s aging population is growing rapidly, making it potentially problematic in the future if there isn’t infrastructure to support and accommodate them.

One user suggested, “Maybe can install lifts like what many new overhead bridges have these days.”

Another user expresses a similar view, urging the authorities to install lifts on overhead bridges located in or around older neighbourhoods with a high concentration of elderly residents.

They provide an example of this being successfully implemented, citing the overhead bridge facing Lorong Lew Lian and Upper Serangoon Road.

A user who identified themselves as a 70-year-old person mentioned that overhead bridges present difficulties for them.

“I can’t do it… I am always looking for lift at overhead bridges,” the user said.

On the other hand, another user highlighted that this issue doesn’t exclusively impact the elderly but also individuals with disabilities.

The user explained that their child, who has cerebral palsy and relies on a wheelchair for mobility, faces obstacles due to the absence of public area lifts.

They emphasized that their child is not the only person with a disability in the country and suggested the importance of increasing public facilities to assist such individuals.

The user remarked, “It’s high time for those responsible for public facilities to take into account the needs of individuals with disabilities in their planning.”

LTA evaluating need for lift installation

In response to inquiries, a Land Transport Authority (LTA) spokesperson stated that they are currently evaluating the possibility of installing a lift at the bridge.

Meanwhile, slopes for bicycles and wheelchair users have already been constructed to provide some relief.

The spokesperson emphasized the challenges and costs associated with building lifts for overhead bridges and mentioned that they prioritize such initiatives in locations with a significant elderly population or individuals with impaired mobility, often near hospitals.

The LTA also considers community feedback in assessing the need for lifts at specific locations.

Currently, 83 pedestrian overhead bridges have lifts installed, with 24 more anticipated to be completed by 2025.

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63 yr old Mr Lim got not CPeeF to retire with Swiss Standard of living? And a HDB as an asset for retirement income, where the price of his lease decaying HDB WILL NEVER DROP?
Cannot be.
Someone MUST BE LYING!
Who did Mr Lim voted for?😆😆😆🤣🤣😆😆😆😆😆

This SGov rather chooses to install lifts on some overhead bridges than building underpasses.
Can dig long and deep underground MRT tunnels but cannot make simpler pedestrian underpasses.
No wonder SGov is “world class” standard…..lol.

Sorry to say when I see a very very long staircase connected to the over head bridge I laugh.

I find this solution is not practical and also costly too. What do you think?

For Mr Lim’s sake and all of the island’s ever growing aging and experiencing mobility issues population, … let’s hope the LTA doesn’t take too long in their exploration of options, … and not just limited to Bedok.

Let’s hope that the LTA will take the customary “serious view” of the difficulties, … clearly expressed !!!

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