The Half-Assed Bridge

There is this half-bridge-half-ramp structure at the Toa Payoh train station underpass. It is a monument ‘celebrating’ witlessness.

For some strange reason, the underpass had, for many years, a small flight of a few steps up and down somewhere towards both ends. This makes it difficult, if not impossible for the wheelchair bound, elderly and weak to cross. (There are escalators and elevators beyond these steps.) This ‘valley’ should not be there in the first place.

What was the response of the authorities to solving this problem? They built the bridge-ramp thing, that for some unknown reason again, slants downwards in the centre. At most, this makes it half-easier for the wheelchair bound to cross the valley downwards… But what about the upward part? Not everyone is rich enough to have motorised wheelchairs. Why let many exert needless and endless Sisyphusian efforts?

It’s incredible that they took so many years to come up with this half-baked semi-solution. Why not simply make it even and flat end to end? If the ceiling is too low towards the middle, it shouldn’t have been so low in the first place, or the whole pass could have been lower.

There is this term in use these days (as in the title), that never occurred to me to be useful practically, that I thought sounded a little foul and shouldn’t be used… until I came across this lame design. I think it is an appropriate shorthand way to describe it. Unfortunately, this is symptomatic of some of the policies the authorities have for ‘assisting’ the disadvantaged masses – half-heartedly.

Each time I pass by this astounding money-wasted ‘non-design’, I remind myself to never be half-assed in whatever I do, lest it becomes hard to undo or redo. What’s worth doing is worth doing well the very first time round. I must be wholehearted and thus, er… ‘whole-assed’. New slang?

According to the Urban Dictionary,


Half-assed: Doing an activity only partly,
or without one’s whole self involved;
doing something without caring,
or without putting anything into it.