Did eatery ban ease traffic woes in Serangoon Garden?

In 2012, the Urban Redevelopment Authority banned the opening of new food joints in Serangoon Garden ("Restaurant ban to ease traffic at Serangoon Garden"; March 25, 2012).

Four years on, I wonder if the ban was, in fact, successful, and whether there are now fewer complaints from residents about parking woes.

Currently, the ban applies only to dining outlets. But business owners may choose to open other establishments, such as karaoke joints, beauty parlours, spas or gyms, which may contribute to parking problems as well.

If the ban on eateries merely stemmed the surge of motor vehicles, without any significant alleviation, then it should be reviewed.

Such measures are just stop-gaps that ignore the underlying cause of traffic congestion in such areas - that people are refusing to leave their cars at home when dining out.

Perhaps this is something that should be addressed in the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint.

Blanket bans are the easy way out, and is not an ideal way to achieve a "car-lite" Singapore.

Mark Wong Hsien Wu

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2016, with the headline 'Did eatery ban ease traffic woes in Serangoon Garden?'. Print Edition | Subscribe