Kishore Mahbubani Fewer Cars, Fewer Roads: paradise lost
I am sure many took a double take reading Mr Kishore Mahbubani’s opinion piece (Fewer cars, Fewer Roads) in the Straits Times yesterday. He says the biggest failing of Singapore is the failure to develop a world-class ecosystem of public transport.
Implicitly, the government has to shoulder the blame.
He talks about famous and wealthy persons in US taking cabs and the subway. This will never happen here.
Our cabs are nowhere to be seen when you want one. In Shanghai, a city of more than 25 million, I could get a cab easily. Ditto for Hong Kong. Our taxi service is in a shambles.
As for our MRT, you are lucky if you don’t emerge feeling like a squashed pancake.
One area where the authorities should pay greater attention to is to develop a bicycle infrastructure and make the country more bike friendly. With the public transport bursting at the seams, more people will cycle to work as in Denmark.
On less busy roads, bike lanes could be carved out. Bike lanes could also be carved out of large grass verge areas in many places. The Park Connector Network or PCN is very useful but should be extended quickly.
For example, with the PCN one could cycle all the way from Sengkang to AMK , via AMK Ave 5, enter Ave 10 towards Bishan Park and ride all the way to Beach Road or Marina Bay.
Regular cyclists are aware of this route. The authorities have to publicise this sort of information to the general public.
A cycle to work culture takes time to develop. With the blessing of the authorities and employers, this is doable.
Kishore’s dream of fewer cars so that we will be closer to paradise will never happen. By 2030, not only will there be even more cars but even more people stomping all over on this tiny island of 700 sq km. In fact, 6.9 million.
We will never ever regain the paradise. It’s paradise lost.
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