http://www.straitstimes.com/archive/...ikely-20120901

RGS at Braddell: 'Congestion likely'

Residents worry parents picking up kids will block housing estate entrance

Published on Sep 01, 2012

By Chia Yan Min & Lim Yi Han


BUILDING plans for the new Raffles Girls' Secondary School (RGS) in Braddell Road are yet to be drawn but residents nearby are already anxious about potential traffic snarls the school will bring.

Their chief concern is that parents may park their vehicles indiscriminately while waiting to pick up their children.

One-third of 30 Braddell View residents interviewed said parents could cause congestion by waiting along Braddell Hill, a side street that leads to the only entrance to their residential estate.

The new school is coming up in six years at the site of the former Braddell-Westlake Secondary School. Residents said they have no choice but to drive past the site when returning home.

Several of them, such as housewife Irene Ong, 54, suggested building a new road to link the estate with another main road, such as Toa Payoh Rise or Marymount Road, to prevent congestion.

Another resident Lee Shih Ming wrote to The Straits Times Forum page after news of the school's relocation was announced this week: "We greeted the news...with trepidation, knowing well how it will inconvenience greatly residents of our estate."

But parents of RGS students said that although traffic congestion occurs daily at the school's current Anderson Road site, it has not led to serious disputes among drivers or with nearby residents.

"Everyone is very disciplined. Unless it is raining, traffic flow is usually very smooth," said Ms Kenn Ng, 52, whose daughter is a Sec 4 RGS student.

When contacted, a spokesman for RGS said the school would work with the authorities to minimise inconvenience to people living and working in the vicinity.

An Education Ministry spokesman said it would partner the Land Transport Authority to do a Traffic Impact Assessment study on how best to manage traffic flow and road safety in and around the school.

Their recommendations will guide the school's design and could include improvements to the road infrastructure, the spokesman added.

National University of Singapore's Professor Chin Hoong Choor, who specialises in traffic management, said the key to smooth traffic flow is picking the right location for the school's entrance, and the design of its pickup and drop-off area.

One school in a housing estate that seems to have successfully avoided traffic snarls is Xinmin Secondary in Hougang Avenue 8.

Its principal Ong Hong Peng hired security guards and appointed student counsellors to direct traffic at peak times. "There are no serious jams," she said.

chiaym@sph.com.sg

limyihan@sph.com.sg