Monday, October 4, 2010

New Urbanists Who Admire Singapore’s Urban Planning

via One Less Car
6 August 2010

I just learned, via this blog, that they exist. I’m frankly astonished. I suspect few of these admirers have actually lived there. Superficially, Singapore may seem to align with New Urbanist ideals because of the high ownership taxes on cars, which have slowed down the growth of the car population, but it fails in a major way on these other fronts:
  1. Road design. While it is very expensive to own a car, if you do own one, you get treated to infrequent stop lights and many, many wide arterial roads and expressways, so cars can go much faster than they would in American cities of similar sizes. There are no traffic calming measures that I know of. This makes being a pedestrian or cyclist very uncomfortable. Furthermore, it is very difficult to find alternate routes for walking or biking on, because arterial roads are rarely interrupted by minor roads, so you’re often forced to take arterial roads just so you can cross yet another arterial road.
  2. Walkability. As mentioned in 1., there are few intersections, so pedestrians often have to walk a long way to cross roads, and the roads are wide, so it takes a long time to cross. 

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