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TODAY Voices Sep 14, 2011

Making way for more roads not the solution

Letter from Goh Si Guim

I REFER to the article "New dual four-lane road in Bukit Brown to ease heavy traffic" (Sept 13). I am dismayed that more land will be mowed down to accommodate the relentless and unsustainable car population growth in Singapore.

Bukit Brown was earmarked as a land bank for future housing development. Unfortunately, an ugly stab will be made into its tranquility as yet another stretch of land, large enough to provide eight lanes, would be conceded to vehicular traffic.

Many cars on the road end up carrying only one occupant and, hence, are not efficiently utilised. Instead, they take up land space and spew tons of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.
With the expansion of the rail network, it is time to relook the current disincentives to curb car usage. The measures taken to cope with car numbers in recent decades, such as Electronic Road Pricing, are nowhere successful thus far.

More persuasive action is needed to nudge more people to use the rail system, which is touted to be one of the best in the world but has still been found wanting. I hope that when the entire system is operational, the current undesirable conditions would ease.

As we have done in many other areas, let us lead the world in caring for our environment, such as by doing away with cars as much as possible and fully utilising the rail network. In a small dot like Singapore, we can do better when we set a common goal.

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