- POSTED: 06 Jan 2014 12:03
- UPDATED: 06 Jan 2014 23:11
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Traffic on the Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE) was generally smooth during the peak hour on Monday morning despite the wet weather.
SINGAPORE: Traffic on the Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE) was generally smooth during the peak hours on Monday morning despite the wet weather.
January 6 is seen as the real test for the new expressway as most people return to work after the holiday season.
Eastbound motorists travelling on the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) through the MCE to East Coast Parkway (ECP) had a smooth journey. Traffic was also moving well in the opposite direction.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said the traffic volume on Monday morning was almost the same as on a normal peak period.
However, some traffic slowdown was observed along some parts of the ECP towards the MCE and along Nicoll Highway.
This could be due to the normal peak hour traffic volume and also the wet roads caused by Monday's morning shower.
Last Monday, traffic slowed to a crawl as motorists tried to exit the expressway via the two lanes leading to ECP.
Some motorists have attributed the smoother traffic to the improved signage put up to guide motorists.
Another possible reason is that other motorists also continued to avoid the MCE.
Tan Woon Che, a motorist, said: "I was afraid to go through the same experience, like the one and a half hour jam. It was seriously very bad that day. I will wait for a couple more days before I will try it (the MCE) again."
Addressing concerns that followed the massive traffic jams last week, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew disagreed that road design was the main cause.
Mr Lui said: "LTA would have given explanations as to how they modelled it, why the number of lanes are designed the way they are. When you open any major new route with quite a number of changes, and people will have to familiarise themselves with these changes, it will take a bit of time to settle.
“We deliberately started it at the end of December when traffic was lighter, so that we could give people a bit of time to familiarise themselves."
Mr Lui added however, that even though traffic was smooth on the MCE on Monday, how best it is able to serve motorists will be clearer in the next two to three weeks.
Looking even further forward, one analyst cautioned about future growth in traffic between the east and west of Singapore, and major developments near the downtown area.
Professor Lee Der Horng from the National University of Singapore’s Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, said: "We are going to have a Sports Hub, which is a major development. So, if we are not able to provide the convenience and more direct entrance and exit to this area by using our existing expressway infrastructure, I'm afraid in future this could be one major choking point."
By the third quarter of this year, Central Boulevard will be straightened and expanded into a full five-lane road.
Analysts said this could improve the traffic condition further in that area.