Silver zones in Singapore are areas which have been altered in a way that enhances the safety aspect of the road and the surrounding area. The main point of silver zones is to increase the safety for seniors.
There are a number of changes that make it easier for senior pedestrians to handle everyday traffic. Speed limits are reduced to 40km/h, roads are narrow and pedestrians are guided to marked crossing points.
There are 3 key aspects that decide where a silver zone is located. First of all, they are located in areas with a high senior population. Secondly, they are located in areas with a higher accident rate involving senior citizens. Additionally, they can be found in areas which have amenities suitable for seniors.
Check out the difference between a silver zone and a regular road.
Silver zone gateway
As the name suggests, the gateway is a combination of road markings and signs which indicate the start of the silver zone.
These are widely spread crossings which reduce crossing distances. Also, these crossings enable drivers to see pedestrians easier. As the right side is reserved for motorists, pedestrians should still be careful when crossing.
Straight roads are replaced with curvy roads to slow down the drivers.
These 2-stage crossings allow senior pedestrians to rest while crossing the street. This is done through ‘pinch points’ and ‘eye-lands’. A pinch point makes the road narrow while an eye-land is the ‘resting point’ in the middle of the crossing.
Mountable centre dividers
These are very similar to the middle dividers in setback crossings. However, mountable centre dividers are low enough, allowing the cars to cross them if there’s an emergency. Basically, these are a compromise between narrowing down the roads to slow the cars down and giving passageway when it is absolutely necessary.
Bus-friendly humps are the same as regular speed humps, but they are less prominent and more comfortable for the passengers in busses.
Silver zones also include other benefits designed to help seniors around the road. Which include things like anti-slip covers on drain covers and bus stops with armrests.
Silver zones seem to have made an important improvement to the lives of Singaporeans. Which could be why silver zones are increasing throughout Singapore.
In 2017 alone, 10 new silver zones were introduced, with another 50 scheduled to be introduced by 2023. Many of their features can be installed in areas that are not silver zones and thus improve safety for all.