Monday, October 06, 2008

Roundabout Quiz 3 - Answers

1) Bukit Panjang Circus

2) Princess Circus and 3) Alexandra Circus

4) Delta Circus

5) Shenton Circus and 6) Anson Circus
(Pardon the lousy Photoshop skill in merging maps from 2 different pages)

7) Gillman Circus

8) Sembawang Hills Circus

9) Orchard Circus

10) Pulo Saigon Circus

The above maps are scanned from the 1963 street directory courtesy of Peter Chan. I must confess that some of these are quite new to me. For example, I have never heard of Pulo Saigon Circus, Shenton Circus or Anson Circus until now.

Below is my answer to the Straits Times reporter’s question about whether or not roundabouts should be preserved?

From the point of view of history/heritage, I feel that we should try to preserve some roundabouts. However, this may not be practical from the traffic engineering point of view because I don't think roundabouts are suitable for handling the high volume traffic that we have on most Singapore roads nowadays. I guess that is the reason why our traffic authority has converted most of the roundabouts to traffic lights controlled junctions. I believe the authorities know what they are doing. For example, even in Newton Circus, they had to install traffic lights to regulate the flow.

However, having said that, I think some places can technically be converted back to roundabouts because of the change in infrastructure. Take for example, Holland Circus. This was converted into a traffic light junction because of the increased volume of traffic. However, with the addition of a flyover and an underpass, the number of vehicles making a right turn has reduced significantly. Hence, a roundabout would be more efficient than the present traffic lights. In fact, I can think of one place where this is the situation. This is the PIE/AYE junction in Tuas. However, I suppose it would be too costly to revert back to a roundabout and hence we have to live with it. After all, the number of vehicles affected is relatively low. I guess this applies to other places like Clementi Avenue 6 - Commonwealth Avenue West junction.

As a road user, I don't think we should preserve roundabouts simply for the sake of nostalgia or heritage. We must be pragmatic about such things. In fact, I think many young drivers do not even know how to drive correctly in a roundabout and in a busy junction, it might even lead to accidents. But in places where roundabouts can do a better job why not? Good example is Newton Circus where many roads converge at one point.


Anonymous said...

We should get the policemen to stand on those boxes at road junctions. I am not sure readers can remember that back in the 1960s, when ever traffic builds-up and the traffic lights could not relieve the heavy-than-usual traffic, a policeman was deployed.

If you look at today's traffic light management systems, they can't cope with the changes in traffic volume but not one policeman can be found. Recently I asked one policeman what happened. he replied with privatisation of the auxillary police force in Singapore such services are no longer free. What then about our regular police force since they have enlisted NSmen? He asked me whetehr I am aware that neighbourhood police posts were either shut down or no longer operate 24-hours. I am him when? He replied since the last economic crisis in 1998.

Lam Chun See said...

I don't support your idea. During the aftermath of the Mas Selamat incident, a study was made and found that our police are already over-stretched. I'd rather they spend more time going after the speeding lorries.

Icemoon said...

Eh, are we conflating the role of TP and regular police? I'm not sure whether got NSF TP or not.

Anonymous said...

Do you know even the TP dont even go after the speeding motorists UNLESS it is reported in the newspaper first about such situations? It appears the highway patrol on our ECPs/PIE/TPE/AYE/KJE ONLY work at certain hours of the day but the busiest hours of the day when there is heavy traffic you can't find them?

Are you aware that some of our speed traps at traffic light junctions are empty boxes or dont even work at all.

Icemoon said...

Eh, busiest hours of day got chance to speed meh?

TP likes to play psychological games. They put up empty boxes or spoilt boxes, but they also ambush themselves on flyovers, behind bushes, so to catch you unaware.

Anonymous said...

There is a circus along Hillview Avenue, but never knew if it has got a name... can anyone enlighten?


Lam Chun See said...

Chuck, it's called Hillview Circus. And I have put up a photo here.

Anonymous said...

Many TPs busy with escorting VIPs. Speeding all over, stopping traffic at all the junctions ahead of a VIP convoy just so that the VIP can travel in comfort and arrive somewhere without having to stop at a single red light.

They scared we have people stopping alongside wind down the windows and start complaining to them about the inflation, the financial crisis, education system, foreign workers domitories, etc.