Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew told the media today (6 Jan) he does not think design issues are to blame for the gridlock on the opening day (30 Dec) of the Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE).
He said that the verdict on MCE will be clearer in “two to three weeks”.
“I think if you open any major new road, where you have quite a number of changes and people have to familiarise themselves with these changes, it will take a bit of time to settle.
We will have to be patient, look at the situation over a period of weeks. But so far, LTA (i.e. the Land Transport Authority) tells me, other than the first morning, it’s been relatively smooth, perhaps for a variety of reasons. And I’d like to believe that some (motorists) have moved over to taking public transport, given the convenience of the Circle Line and Downtown Line in the area.”
Mr Lui said that LTA “will continue to make improvements to the signs, and do the necessary tweaks, to bring about a smoother commute for motorists”.
On a personal note, he claims he prefers to use MCE to the scenic Benjamin Sheares Bridge.
“If I were to compare the driving experience with using the Sheares Bridge, and having to make that climb up the Sheares Bridge, I think the MCE to me, even though it’s a slightly longer route, is something that I prefer,” he said.
“I miss the view, like many other motorists… but as a commute, so far, I find the MCE a smoother one for myself.”
Meanwhile, ST reported that highways surrounding the MCE were clogged up today [Link]. Heavy traffic was reported on AYE near Exit 2B into Keppel Road.
Motorists experienced heavy jams on MCE on the first day of its operation with many complaining online about poor signage and having too few lanes to filter into.
A TRE reader, Singapore Ah Seng, wrote that thanks to the complaints, LTA was forced to respond immediately.
“It illustrated the fact that the MCE can be smooth only after the embarrasing opening day when hundreds of letters poured in, and after the hurried temporary signboards were erected, after 2 more lanes were constructed hurriedly by our road contractors, after thousands of motorists avoided the MCE, and after Lui kia called in LTA to quickly remedy the bottlenecks.
The ‘kao beh kao boo’ writers are the heroes of the MCE, and not the original MCE planners. Keep up the opposition views, guys, for without the net, the boos boos would have been covered up again.”