Move the Seletar heavy truck stop to a safer place before it's too late

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I was dismayed by eight words in a URA letter I received.

“Works has started and will be carried out” is how the government agency presented Seletar residents with a fait accompli: the creation of a huge parking lot for 430 heavy vehicles (HVP) across from our homes.

I had believed the road forward for Government on the heels of the General Election, and such wrangles as the Bukit Brown controversy, was clear: Consultation benefits all - policy-makers, public servants and we, the people.

Minister Tan Chuan-Jin himself noted: “Being engaged is almost an end in itself because the process would enable not only better policy-making but would also allow conversations that will lead to greater collective understanding.”

The URA appears to have not heard this.

Intention should be followed by action: so why is the URA going against the Minister’s direction?

You could take the trouble to tell each one of us residents that you have started work. How hard would it have been to send each of the same addressees a notice of your plans a few months ago?

Lack of advance notice aside, your reasons for the HPV placement raises so many questions:

Productive?
An HVP is better located where noise and aesthetics matter less, like beside Seletar airport or Lorong Halus, freeing up the Seletar land for residences or business, which will benefit the residents here, and retaining the magnificence of the tree-lined stretch of Yio Chu Kang. So why place it where you did?

Rational?
If it is truly intended to serve drivers living in Punggol, Sengkang and Hougang, why build it away from them and beside the low-density Seletar estate served neither by the MRT or LRT?
If you had reasons for putting it in Anchorvale, why change that now?

Safe?
If traffic jams are an issue, why create a new road which opens onto the very lane which is often congested in the evenings as people turn left into Sengkang West Road while others turn right into Begonia Road? And why is it directly opposite three play schools? In addition, many students cross there in their daily commute by bus.

More questions could have been raised and answered had the URA directly alerted all residents to its plans.

I was looking forward to an era of more light than heat following remarks made by various leaders on the need to listen, even if the final decisions could not please everyone. I was not expecting to see a U-turn sign so early.

Since our surprise discovery of the construction of the huge parking lot for dump trucks and the like, many of us have tried to reach out to you to re-consider your decision.

This Petition adds its voice to those cries. For all the reasons above, the safety of our families and friends, and your promise to consult us, we call on you to relocate the parking lot and its access road.

 



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