Thursday, June 30, 2011

LTA Gets Their Way

Spot the minister trying very hard to be inconspicuous
The planned North-South Expressway (NSE) construction includes an 8.8km viaduct that will slice through a swath of several Housing Board blocks at Chong Pang. Those living at Nuovo, along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6, were skeptical about LTA's "commitment" to keep noise level below 67 decibels. Tuck Yew! The stipulation in Article 16 of the Basic Environment Law (Law No. 91 of 1993) for residential areas is 55 dB or less (45 db at night). Building a new road is not a carte blanche to ruin a quiet neighborhood.

Can you blame the Maplewoods residents for raising hell when they found out that a tunnel-boring machine will be located right smack at their condominium 's exit and entrance points? This sure beats the inane LTA decision to erect an ERP gantry outside Hume Park at Upper Bukit Timah Road, the route of access for the Hillview condominium residents heading to and from work.

Maplewoods is highly populated with 3,500 residents. Besides the noise to come, safety was prime concern, for children commuting to nearby MGS, and motorists entering and exiting the condo. LTA's lame excuse that relocating the machines to Sixth Avenue could delay the project by more than 3 years must sound like the 56-man-years quoted to produce the information requested by ex-President Ong Teng Cheong. One suspects they would rather not inconvenience the Ministers and their relatives residing closer to Sixth Avenue.

At last night's 3rd meeting to appease the Maplewoods unrest, one member said it all, "We has asked for and hoped for a complete reassessment without any preconceived  notions, but all they have done really is put band aids on the core issue." Vivian Balakrishnan did not exactly inspire confidence when he finally rose to face the irate gathering, "While I'm in a position to lean on them (LTA), I cannot promise you a final outcome." But of course - he's the defacto Minister of Floods, making sure the Bukit Timah gutters don't overflow (his particular specialty in politics), not the Transport Minister. Meanwhile the LTA confidently announced that the  Downtown Line 2 will be completed on time. Whinge all you want, it's their way or the highway - which also happens to be their other avenue to get back at you.


  1. These residents deserve it if they voted for the PAP. Time to repent.

  2. I suppose there is not much one can do about public transport projects. I have lived with construction of a major MRT interchange near my condo and my family has benefitted from its completion. Perhaps it should be put to the vote to residents around the area if they want an MRT station near their resdiences and to put up with the inital inconveniences. If they really can't stand it, they can always move away. Everyone would want an instant MRT station at their doorstep without all the noise and dust.

  3. What I don't understand is why they need a MRT station in Bukit Timah where each household typically owns two cars or more. Why would they trade the private comfort of plush genuine leather bucket seats of their BMWs for the hard plastic of an overcrowded, stinky MRT train?

  4. I suppose this issue did not surface during or before elections. I hope residents will not have a short memory and they will remember this again in 5 years' time when they cast their votes.

    Why must the boring machine be based either at the proposed stations at 6th Avenue or outside Maplewoods? LTA did not explain why they could not site the boring machine away from these proposed stations? Before 6th Avenue, there is a nice stretch of road where the housing is largely landed and the buildup is relatively much less dense than the housing and traffic buildup from 6th Avenue onwards. Surely this will affect fewer people than anywhere further up the stretch.

    Short of any explanation from LTA on this possibility, we can only draw the conclusion that LTA and Ministry of Transport does not want to inconvenience the many politicians and other "connected" people living between say 1st and 6th Avenue. We should all remember this and I urge all Maplewoods residents to remember this!

  5. 60.1% voted for Video Bala's GRC team.

    Learn to vote more wisely in the future.

    You got the government and Minister you deserve.

    Just because you live near the "blessed" Singaporeans does not automatically make you immune and holy.

  6. I just have to say that the entire stretch of Bukit Timah from Cluny Court upwards is already being affected. Apart from the expressways, BT Road is a main artery. The area between Hwa Chong and Sixth Avenue is already full of road diversions which make driving plain dangerous — at any time, you can go round a bend and find your lane disappearing without warning.

  7. Why would anybody put an MRT station in one of the richest neighbourhoods in Singapore?

    Must be a new campaign to persuade rich people to take the public transport.

    Training for a future Minister of Transport?

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