A concerned Malaysian writes about Malaysian affairs. "You are the Change you Seek" Barack Obama

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Before We Praise Singapore Too Highly....

(click image to enlarge)
Readers of my blog will know that I have a great admiration for the way Singapore has transformed itself into a bustling modern metropolis - a world class city.

However there is a blot on its record that has not been solved even years after millions of dollars were spent to upgrade the access to the exit point in Woodlands CIQ. They constructed the viaduct to allow cars and motor-bikes to bypass a major cross-road.

Since Lee Kuan Yew reads malaysiakini sometimes, here's hoping that someone from the LTA will read this article and consider my suggestions to improve the traffic flow especially during peak periods.

On Tuesday 16th October, I took the Singapore Express bus back to JB. Along the BKE, the electronic display sign read, "Jam at Woodlands" and the bus driver left the BKE and entered the road leading to the CIQ via Woodland Road,ie coming from the left of the major cross-road. There was no problem at all and no delay.

After I cleared immigration, I went down to the bus area and it was jam-packed with many factory buses and no sign of the Express bus. I guess it would have left as there was a queue about 15 long at the immigration counter.

So I decided to walk the Causeway. It took about 15 minutes but during that time only about 6 buses passed me but no Express bus. The Singapore end of the pedestrian walk is well laid out; especially the underground passage with tiled floor and the security cameras. At the Malaysian end, all the manhole covers needed maintenance or replacement.

There were no lorries at the time - about 8pm and I suspect the transport companies were having a long break.

So what is the reason for the jam at Woodlands? Sometimes it can take an hour just to travel the last 800 meters across the intersection.

The traffic police are there most times but the 2 or 3 men deployed still do not solve this long-standing traffic nightmare. I pity the cops as they are being exposed to exhaust fumes for extended periods.

I would suggest to the LTA the following:

For peak periods like 5:00pm to 8:00pm

1.All cars must enter the CIQ road using Woodlands Road, from the left
2.All lorries and buses must enter the CIQ road using the BKE
3.Motor-bikes will use the viaduct as at present.
4.No right turn into the CIQ road from Woodlands Town Centre except for public buses.

Based on the results of the above, one may be required to close the Causeway to lorries during the peak period.
The traffic police will still be needed but their tasks will be less burdensome as the traffic cross-overs between buses, lorries and cars will be drastically reduced.

Some cynics think that this jam exists since the authorities do not like the idea of Singaporeans crossing to JB for cheap petrol but I'm hoping it's just a case of a problem that needs a new idea.

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