thoughts on my journey to RIDE

At last, I started my bike lessons after about 1.5 years of procrastination. After lots of thoughts, chastised by many around me and me, preconditioning my family members that it is ok to ride (by the way, didn’t realise that my Dad is still crazy about bikes all these years!). The cute thing is that after I announced to the whole world that I’m beginning riding lessons, many started congratulating me and sent me videos of accidents at the same time. I couldn’t help it but make up stories in my head that these guys are trying to persuade me to stop “all these biking nonsense” in me.IMG_4316-edit

Well… I really ought to be thankful that they care for my well being too. All I can think about what to do with the videos so far is to learn about how accidents can be avoided. With that being said, feel free to send me more!

At this point, I must admit that as far as I am excited to begin on the practical stages of my bike lessons, I also feel a tinge of fear; I wondered if I am able to learn as smoothly as I wanted to. For one thing, I don’t cycle well. My friend has to save me from a brush with death when I fell about 12-13 years ago.

It was totally different for this 60-year-old lady I met at the driving school! She was filled with pure excitement and passion. She wanted to see the world through different eyes, and felt strongly that riding would give her more freedom to do that. She was so excited that she signed herself up for all the four theory lessons in a single day so that she can start on her practical the soonest. I had to split the lessons up across two days as I weren’t sure if I can focus through the 400 minutes of lessons.

I really admired her spirit, her perseverance and her courage to learn riding at her age.

You are never too old to learn something eh?

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Win-Win for Cross-Island Line?

Background. If the proposed Cross-Island Line (CRL) MRT was to tunnel through the Nature Reserve, there is possible impact on the bio-diversity that lives 40 meters on top of the line (Line drawn in RED in the diagram below).

An alternative was given, routing around the Nature Reserve along Lornie Road and Upper Thomson Road (Line drawn in BLUE in the diagram below). Land acquisition seems inevitable and it will cost $2b more.

For more information, you can read about it here.

If experience serves me right, win-win situations are seldom black or white. They either exist in the grey region or require something out of the box. Disclaimer, I am no civil engineer, but this is what I am suggesting based on whatever I can see on the map, ignoring the fact the we probably need to dig a lot deeper (Line drawn in ORANGE in the diagram below):

CRL

Background Map from http://www.OneMap.sg

I’m suggesting we give Sin Ming a miss altogether and give up connecting the North-South Line and Thomson-East Coast Line at the northern region.

If we really have to, why not just build a branch line like the Cross-Island Line that juts out to Punggol?

Or perhaps Caldecott can be the interchange station to the Cross-Island Line.

In fact, I thought there were some experts who mentioned in the news that a further south alignment would be better? Whatever happen to that idea I can’t even seem to find it anywhere on the Internet no more?

 

Marina Coastal Expressway – Is there a better alternative?

Costing more than $4.1 billion dollars to build was the newest and probably one of the Most Costly Expressway in Singapore, the Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE). At a span of 5km, each km would cost an average of $800 million to build.

Marina Coastal Expressway meme (sGAG)

I were already having doubts the first day I pass through the expressway, seeing only two lanes at the exit, filtering to East Coast Parkway (ECP) while move eastwards, the more well used expressway towards the east of MCE. Sure enough, on the next working day, massive jams crowded the entire expressway, with outcries about the terrible design of the expressway over the local forums such as this and inspiring blog posts like that.

What surprises me even more is that many people thought that MCE is just another expressway that runs parallel to ECP. I thought the government had made it pretty clear that MCE was to replace a stretched of ECP, freeing up prime land to extend the downtown downwards.

There’s many more inconvenience of course, such as a direct route into the Rochor area was lost when moving eastwards through MCE, the Fort Road exit no longer runs into ECP and sharp near-90 degree turns entering the expressway.

I always like to joke that they ought to have employed me as a part time traffic planner as I have 12 years of experience playing Sim City.

Jokes aside, is there a better alternative? I’m thinking. MCE is already at 66% the price tag of the world’s most expensive building (Marina Bay Sands tada!). Surely we could use the same amount of money and do something else?

  • Can we build a building across East Coast Parkway?
  • Can we extend Gardens by the Bay onto the top of East Coast Parkway like the EcoLink we have over the Bukit Timah Expressway?
  • Can we build a second tier of highway on top of East Coast Parkway to soothe the highway traffic?

I am no civil engineer. But with a bit of creativity, I’m sure all these are possible in Singapore. I’ll leave you with a few architectural wonderful pictures I found from the Internet on what is already possible.

Gate Tower Building in Osaka (muza-chan.net)

Gate Tower Building in Osaka with a highway passing through it. The two structures were built separately. Picture from muza-chan.net 

Elephant Tower of Thailand (fineartamerica.com)

Elephant Tower of Thailand showed that you could build something with a big gap underneath the building, perhaps one wide enough for ECP to go under. (Picture from fineartamerica.com)

High Five Interchange (Wikipedia)

High Five Interchange somewhere in the US. Interchanges takes up a lot of space but how about viaducts? Shall we have our first multilevel expressway? (Picture from Wikipedia)