Thanks to Daniel Goh for sharing a few alternatives to the proposed developments at Bukit Brown. Daniel visited our website and offered the following suggestions.
By Daniel Goh
Besides many environmental, historical and sentimental reasons why Bukit Brown should be preserved for as long as possible, there are also rational reasons why the need for the new 8-lane road should be re-evaluated.
I have lived in Sime Road since 1987 and cannot see how the new 8-lane road will solve current minor traffic problems along the stretch of 7-lane Lornie Road that the new road is supposed to complement. The new road would start just after the Lornie/Andrew junction, cut through Bukit Brown and then join back Lornie Road after the Lornie/Sime junction.
The existing 7-lane Lornie Road does not have traffic congestion except during peak periods, and even then, traffic flows are better than at most major roads.
During the morning peak period, the turn-off to join PIE towards Tuas can be frustrating. This is due to heavy traffic on PIE plus joining traffic from Adam Road. I can’t see how the new road could solve this problem. Perhaps LTA could look at diverting some of this traffic to Bukit Timah Road for them to join PIE after Clementi Road.
During the evening peak period, the exit from PIE to join Lornie Road is congested but no worse than subsequent exits for Whitley Road and Thomson Road. The situation has improved since addition of a side filter lane. This can be further improved by installing a new set of traffic lights just before the exit. The new lights would not affect traffic on Lornie Road if it is in sync with the existing set of lights at the Lornie/Sime junction.
The new 8-lane road would be about 50m wide and 1,500m in length, hence it would occupy an area of 75,000 sqm or 7.5 hectares. It would be a huge waste to sacrifice such a large piece of prime land and see little results, not to mention the cost of clearing land and road construction.
Bukit Brown is zoned for housing development and will be in close proximity to major roads. Therefore, the new 8-lane road would not add value to the development, instead, it could lower the value of the development.
If the stretch of road really requires 8 lanes, surely it would be far more cost efficient to add just 1 lane to the existing 7-lane road? Currently, there is a jogging track along the 3-lane side of the road and this could be used to build the 4th lane. Even if some trees need to be moved, they can be carefully dug out for re-planting in order to maintain the ecosystem. A better and more suitable jogging track can then be added within MacRitchie. This would be much cheaper and less disruptive.
In view of the above, why is there a rush to build this new road? Surely it would be more prudent to give more time for all parties to do proper study?