Foot Traffic

Design Challenge

#1: How might we keep our communities in Singapore safe and healthy during the global COVID-19 pandemic?

Project Description

With the COVID-19 showing some signs of abating, we can’t be complacent about personal hygiene and what you touch in public. And buttons in general, apparently, are a hotbed of pathogens which can transmit diseases. It’s said that Coronavirus can be present on metallic surfaces for a long period of time. As a result, to protect yourself and to protect others in case you’re not well, there‚Äôs never been a better time to reconsider repositioning our traffic light buttons.

Criteria #1: Value

This is a pragmatic approach as there will be occasions when we are carrying handful of items and finding it difficult to press the traffic light buttons. I have personally seen elderly with hands full of plastic bags and needed to put the bags on the ground before they can press the button. They are unable to lift their hands with the heavy load that they are carrying. I have also seen pedestrians using other items such as card, mobile phones or worst that surfaced recently was using a high kick to press the traffic light button.

Criteria #2: Inspiration

The lady using her high kick to press the traffic button. Please reference attached images #2 (image from

Criteria #3: Impact

This is to minimise human contact and assist anyone who has difficulty pressing the traffic button with handful of items. At one point LTA was also trialling LED lights on pavement, so shifting features down for attention consistency makes sense.

Criteria #4: Timeliness

I proposed an efficient and lower cost way of repositioning the traffic buttons.
1-Reuse existing button as its still functioning well in terms of aesthetics and tactile.
2-Shift the existing button downwards to a position accessible with our foot to press.
3-We will still need braille for visually handicap pedestrians, as such we can customise a metal plate with braille arrow to patch up the hole where the existing button positioned prior to shifting.

Criteria #5: Systems Thinking

There is minimal effort for research and development as I am making improvement to existing infrastructure. I suggest consulting engineers and trialling it because public education during implementation will be crucial. Stakeholders that I can think of will be LTA and general pedestrians.