Monday 16 November 2020

Changi Jurassic Mile: What's more dangerous than dinosaurs and stray golf balls?

Dear Changi Airport Group,


Yelled no golfer during my visit to the Changi Jurassic Mile last Friday morning. I was expecting golf balls to be whizzing by all around me like bullets during the Omaha beach sequence in Saving Private Ryan.

Medic! Medic!

Have you been hit?

Yes, by a Bridgestone e6 Speed.

Based on recent reports, the Jurassic Mile seems to have become a prehistoric war zone where carnage could come with a Titleist logo.

Last month, a maid was hit on the head by a golf ball presumably from the nearby Tanah Merah Country Club. (I mean, it could be someone at the Sembawang Country Club with an incredibly long drive.)

So you installed additional safety barriers.

But last week, it was reported that the five-year-old son of actor Chen Tian Wen – Mr Unbelievable himself – was almost hit by another golf ball at the Jurassic Mile.

He must have been stunned like vegetable.

He urged authorities to enhance safety precautions even more.

Posted by on Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Despite the danger, I as a quasi-journalist decided to endanger my life by finding out firsthand how dangerous the Jurassic Mile truly is.

And I didn’t even wear a helmet.

And it was Friday the 13th.

The risk is even greater when you consider that whenever I walk past kids playing football in my neighbourhood, the ball would almost always be kicked into my face.

Some call it a superpower. I call it a curse.

For some reason, my face is a magnet for stray balls.

And encounter a golf ball at Jurassic Mile I certainly did.

But fortunately, it wasn’t rocketing toward my football-abused kisser.

The golf ball was resting benignly on the ground among the grass beyond the fence. It wasn’t attracted to my face at all.

Two days after the Nov 1 Mr Unbelievable incident, you added an overhead netting over the presumably more ball-prone stretches of the Jurassic Mile.

But it’s still not safe.

While the golf balls got all the publicity, a bigger hazard remains and I’m not talking about the T-Rex display inexplicably coming to life and chomping on selfie takers.

When I was there, I was more worried about getting injured by not by killer balls or reanimated giant reptiles – but by human cyclists.

As the Jurassic Mile is a too-narrow shared path for both pedestrians and cyclists, signs remind cyclists to dismount and push their bicycles. Many did. Many didn’t.

As far as I could tell, there was no enforcement.

People on bicycles squeezing past families with children stopping suddenly to snap pictures with the dinos is a New Paper story waiting to happen.

You need to do something about it before somebody really gets hurt.

Since you have a giant net to catch golf balls, why not a giant net to catch errant cyclists too?

Also, while I have your attention, why is it called the Changi Jurassic Mile?

Shouldn’t it be the Changi Jurassic Kilometre?

Or if you want to be pedantic about it, Changi Jurassic 1.609 Kilometres.

Did a golf ball hit your head and make you forget the metric system?

Someone forgot to yell “Fore!”

- Published in The New Paper, 16 November 2020