New speed-regulating strips to be installed at Marine Parade roundabout after fatal accident

Speed regulating strips will be installed at two sections of a roundabout in Marine Parade, which was the site of a fatal accident on March 18, 2019. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - New speed-regulating strips will be installed at a Marine Parade roundabout where a fatal accident occurred last Monday (March 18).

This was announced by Mountbatten SMC MP Lim Biow Chuan in a Facebook post on Saturday.

In his post, he uploaded of a map of the roundabout and said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) would be implementing the speed-regulating strips at two sections that he highlighted using red boxes in the picture.

This was "in addition to the road warning signs at the side of the road", he said, and would slow down the speed of vehicles entering the roundabout.

In a phone call with The Straits Times on Sunday, he said that these areas were selected as they were the entry points into the roundabout.

"The issue here is to keep the place safe, and safety is dependent on driver behaviour," said Mr Lim. "If a driver is reckless and drives into a roundabout at a fast speed, it is dangerous."

He added that he would be doing a site visit to the roundabout with LTA on Tuesday to discuss possible safety measures.

LTA confirmed that it would be carrying out roadworks at the roundabout on Wednesday, which are expected to be completed on the same day.

Apart from the speed-regulating strips mentioned by Mr Lim, LTA said that it would be putting up new speed advisory signs reminding motorists of the 30km/h speed limit. These signs would be placed before the roundabout as cars approach from Marine Parade Road or Amber Road.

An LTA spokesman said that to facilitate these improvements, lanes would be partially closed. Directional and information signs would be placed to guide motorists and other road users when works are ongoing.

She added that LTA would monitor the effectiveness of the scheme and concurrently review the feasibility of implementing additional measures to maintain a safe road environment.

"Safety for all road users is our key priority and we encourage everyone to exercise care and consideration when on the roads," said the spokesman.

Ms Daniela Romao, 36, an owner of a corporate and business mobility company, had previously told ST that residents in the area had been worried about safety at the roundabout for months.

Many families with young children walk along the road when sending their children to school, or when heading to the nearby Parkway Parade shopping mall, the Silversea condominium resident said last Monday.

After hearing of the new measures, she said: "It is good that (the authorities) are taking action fast and really quickly, but it's still not enough."

She suggested redesigning the area to use traffic crossings instead of a roundabout, adding that there are very few roundabouts in Singapore.

"Speed bumps are a good beginning. It's positive, but not sufficient to solve this safety problem. They also need to install some protection for the sidewalk," said Ms Romao.

Homemaker Beverly Paulis-Lukaszewski, 39, agreed with her neighbour Ms Romao on the need for protection on the sidewalks.

She suggested concrete barriers, saying that the usual green railings were not enough as safety barriers and provided a false sense of security.

Ms Paulis-Lukaszewski said that when she was growing up in New York, she used to have to cross a "boulevard of death" - a 12-lane highway where people would cross illegally and cars would speed - on the way to school.

Eventually, the safety of the crossing improved when speed limits were enforced, the number of lanes were decreased, and speed cameras were set up.

She suggested implementing some of these ideas at the Marine Parade roundabout.

She added that the existing situation was so unsafe that she actively avoids walking along the roundabout when sending her four-year-old son to school.

"I told everyone who sends their child to school to take the back exit if possible to avoid going on the roundabout," she said.

Ms Shann Mottram, also a Silversea resident, said that the problem was due to drivers who did not stop or give way, or know how to negotiate the road when they came to the roundabout.

She said that she had been involved in an accident at the roundabout in 2017 when a car on the inner lane tried to cut across to exit the roundabout abruptly, which led to a collision.

While the speed-regulating strips are a welcome move, more needs to be done to protect the pedestrians and the cars before another fatal accident occurs, said Ms Mottram, 39, a sales manager.

As a driver who drives along the roundabout daily, Ms Mottram felt that it was important to educate the drivers on how to give way and manoeuvre around the roundabout.

Mr Lim advised: "If (drivers) are doing any turns, they ought to slow down, especially if you are going into a roundabout and might not be familiar."

The immediate solution to the safety problem at this roundabout was to amend driver behaviour, and putting speed-regulating strips is the quickest measure, he said.

Many residents had called for railings to be put up on the sidewalk, but railings can only mitigate major impact from a speeding vehicle.

Mr Lim said that he would be discussing with LTA the possibility of railings, along with making the roundabout a junction with traffic signals.

He added that LTA would have to do a technical assessment to determine the feasibility of the safety measures.

He emphasised that drivers should "always exercise caution when along such roads" and drive defensively, because others may not be as careful.

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