Complete Property Market Updates of Singapore

June 11, 2008

Causeway din vexes Marsiling residents

Filed under: Community Voices,General — Propertymarketupdates @ 4:13 am

RESIDENTS of Marsiling Causeway View estate near the Causeway are being driven up the wall by the incessant blaring of horns and revving of motorcycle engines.

They say the noise, which starts at 4am and goes on till midnight, became worse after terrorist Mas Selamat Kastari escaped from detention on Feb27, and the stepped-up security screenings at the checkpoint created long tailbacks of traffic and frayed tempers.

While drivers of cars wait only about an hour, lorry drivers have complained of being stuck in the queue for up to six hours.

The estate of nine blocks, just 600m from the Causeway, faces the inbound and outbound traffic and gets the brunt of the noise.

One fed-up resident, housewife Teo Lay Khim, 40, wrote to The Straits Times Forum complaining: ‘Residents have to bear with the engine noise of thousands of motorcycles, on top of the honking and shouting which start when the motorcyclists vent their frustrations.’

The 15th-storey resident of Block 215, the second closest to the Causeway, said she gets barely three hours of sleep a night.

This reporter, visiting her at home during the evening rush hour more than a week ago, heard shouting and honking from the balcony and the master bedroom; and the air smelled of exhaust fumes.

More than half or 34 of the 60 residents The Straits Times spoke to said they were putting up with the same, with some calling for fines to be imposed.

Sembawang GRC MP Hawazi Daipi, who oversees the Marsiling ward, said a better solution was to see how immigration clearance could be speeded up.

Asking residents to be patient, he said: ‘It’s too difficult to control the shouting or to fine them as there are just too many of them. We have to understand that thousands of motorists come in, so there’s bound to be noise.’

A sound-level meter provided by Lee Hung Scientific was installed in Madam Teo’s balcony to measure the noise level.

Traffic noise registered an average of 64.2 decibels from 6am to 7am and rose to 65.2 decibels between 6pm and 7pm – about the noise level of a washing machine.

Audiologist Carmela Singh said that, as a guide, anything above 70 is considered noisy. However, anything clocking more than 35 decibels during sleep hours would count as a ‘noise event’.

Studies suggest that the louder the noise gets while one is asleep, the higher one’s blood pressure goes.

So, while 65 decibels of traffic noise is not enough to cause hearing loss, ‘it could make a lot of difference in the blood pressure during sleeping hours’, she said.

ResidentAnnie Lee, 35, said her three sons – 10-month-old twins and an 11-year-old – now sleep with her and her husband in the master bedroom, which faces away from the Causeway.

And student Jevethira Rajaratnam, 15, is staying back at school to get studying done because ‘home isn’t conducive now’.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority has placed signs along the lanes leading to the immigration counters asking that motorcyclists turn off their engines while waiting in line to cut exhaust emission and noise.

Retiree Zainol Ismail, 70, has suggested ‘no honking’ signs be put up along with those.

ST Forum writer Madam Teo said she understood the frustrations of the motorists, ‘but sounding their horns and shouting are simply not reasonable’.

But recruitment manager Abdullah Mat, 46, is resigned: ‘I try to adjust. We can’t run away from the fact that we live next to the Causeway. Sometimes, we just turn up the volume of the TV set to drown out the noise.’

Source : Straits Times – 20 May 2008

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