Tuesday, June 06, 2017

A sense of proportion

I observe that many people in Singapore lack a sense of proportion. They do not difference between what is big and what is small, what is important and what is not important. They give the same degree of attention to all the issues that they encounter.

I frequently quote the example of the naming of roads. We have Sin Ming Avenue, Sin Ming Road, Sin Ming Drive and Sin Ming Lane. All of these roads are of the same width. In other countries, the name "avenue" is probably used for a road of three or four lanes on each side, the name "road" or "drive" has two lanes and the name "lane" has 1 lane.  If there are many lanes of a road, they use the name lane 1, lane 2, etc to differentiate them.

In the past, our planners do have a sense of proportion. They give the name "avenue" to identify the major roads in Ang Mo Kio and the name "street" to identify the smaller roads that branch from the avenue. The same approach was used in Bedok North and Bedok South. Before that, they used "lorong" to identify the major roads in Toa Payoh, although lorong, which means street, may not be the appropriate word to be used for a major road.

Before that, we have lorongs that branch out of Geyland Road and they are numbered sequentially.

It is a nightmare to understand the names given to the roads and streets in Sengkang and Punggol estates. We have to carry a street directory with us all the time. Fortunately, we now have Google Maps.

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