Prevent sidewalk gridlock from happening here

It is of concern that the rapidly increasing population in many countries has led not only to traffic congestion, but also to overcrowding on pavements and walking paths ("NY's new traffic jam: Sidewalk gridlock"; last Saturday).

Countries, especially those that are smaller in size, have to find ways and means to cope with the existing population and influx of newcomers from various parts of the world.

Singapore is one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

There is barely any breathing space. Our trains and public buses are seldom empty.

Every day, while on my MRT journey to and from work, I encounter people elbowing one another to get to their destination.

Even mothers with young children in strollers, the elderly and the disabled on mobility devices have a hard time squeezing their way through the crowd and finding space.

Perhaps measures should be taken to reduce the number of immigrants and foreign workers.

This is not discrimination but a necessity, due to our space constraints.

If nothing is done, there will be undesirable consequences and social problems from the erosion of lifestyles, safety and quality of life.

We must find ways to curb this problem before the human traffic becomes intolerable.

Syed Alwi Altahir

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2016, with the headline 'Prevent sidewalk gridlock from happening here'. Print Edition | Subscribe