Entry: To the Straits Times yet again! Monday, May 05, 2008

Here I go again blasting to the Straits Times Forum. Let's just hope my letters get published. But even if they don't, at least you get to read them here.

Letter #1: Is NEA all bark and no bite?

It has been two years since the smoking ban was implemented, but it would seem that smokers still continue to light up in public places, much to the annoyance of us non-smokers. On many occasions, I have spotted smokers lighting up in bus stops and hawker centres. Just today, I was having my dinner at a hawker centre situated along Keong Siak Road. Halfway through my dinner, I was overwhelmed by a cloud of cigarette smoke coming from the table beside mine. To my horror, there were four men smoking at that particular table and the ironic part of it was that there was a huge "no smoking" sign just beside the table. Despite the availability of tables inside the designated yellow box for smokers, these smokers had shown utter disrepect to the other diners at the hawker centre. At first, I thought it was only this group of smokers who were flouting the law. However, when I glanced around, I realised that there were more smokers at the other tables. Even one of the hawkers was smoking right in front of his stall! All of them were clearly unafraid of being fined for flouting the rules. I would like to ask NEA if it conducts regular checks to ensure that the smoking ban is being upheld or has NEA gone soft over the past two years?
Letter #2: Slow Down the Pace!
I would like to point out to LTA that there are a few traffic lights that needs to be tweaked to a much slower pace for the benefit of all pedestrians. These traffic lights include the one located at the junction between Orchard MRT and Wheelock Place and another one located between Pearl Centre and Layor Sithi Vinayagar Temple. The timing to cross the roads at these traffic lights are simply insufficient for pedestrians. I understand that the fast traffic timing is to ensure that vehicles do not get held up, but it fails to take into consideration the pedestrians. The timing at these traffic lights are just about nice for me but that is only because I walk at a fast pace. Sometimes, when the pedestrian crowd gets too large (especially at the one at Orchard) and I am reduced to a snail pace, I can barely make it in time to finish crossing the road before the lights turn red again. So I can only imagine, if a young and healthy man like me is finding it hard to cross a road, how would the pregnant, old and disabled pedestrians feel? I sincerely hope LTA can do something about this and make the green man walk longer.


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