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Sunday, July 31, 2005

3 Scenarios - Your Comments Please

I will present 3 very real scenarios here on the mindset of drivers in 3 cities. I would appreciate comments from all who read this blog. Thanks.

Scenario 1: Bangkok, Thailand

Anyone (who's not from Thailand) who has been to Bangkok would probably complain and curse the traffic situation there. The Bangkok Jam is always on the must-experience to-do-list when on 'vacation' there (jialat, I sound like civil servant). Truth is, Bangkok is still very mush a developing city. The road lanes are not the usual standard width of 3.6metres. Instead, lane widths range from 2+ metres to about 3.6 metres on the toll roads. But let's get down to earth where all the action is. Forget about the underutilised toll roads. The local roads are extremely narrow in all aspects. Coupled with uncoordinated signal timings and an unorthodox road heirarchy system, it looks like the Bangkok Jam is here to stay for quite awhile. FYI, traversing a 1.5km stretch could easily take in excess of 1 hour during peak hour traffic.

Scenario 2: New York City, New York

Right smack in the city, the streets are arranged in an orderly grid system. But the New York City Jam is also a legend in itself. This is due to the sheer number of cars and yellow cabs on the streets. The lane widths are somewhat close to standard width but I don't think it is 3.6metres. It's probably 10ft wide, so it's almost 3.6metres.

Scenario 3: Singapore

Hardly any jams compared to Bangkok and New York and we have standard width lanes. Kudos to the urban and transport planners who envisaged wide avenues and awesome signal timings to reduce congestion incidences. BTW, I'm not talking about ERP here - it's entirely seperate.

Now, let's imagine a clamity happens on either of the 3 cities and the need to get emergency access to the site of destruction.

New York has pretty much proven itself in her quick emergency response during 9/11.

Bangkok is constrained by physical barriers. I witness it myself when I was there. An ambulance simply cannot get through because there's just not enough space to weave through traffic.

How would Singapore handle this? Given the 'good' physical conditions that we have, would the very mindset of our drivers here be the barrier to social responsibility to get the injured attended to?

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