At the end of 2008, during the discussions on the Three Tunnels Issue which SIVARASA had the honour of chairing, we involved residents from all the housing areas in the vicinity.
This is the difference between Pakatan Rakyat and BN. Unfortunately, what we have to be doing now is cleaning up the previous mess. Thus, there is bound to be at least one party who will not be pleased.
We should look at the bigger picture, and move ahead.
Proper planning is important
PJ Waves By YIP YOKE TENG
THE problem of access road in Petaling Jaya reared its ugly head yet again with a heated episode involving Winchester linkhouses, Vista Subang low-cost flats and D’Aman Crimson Apartment in Ara Damansara.
The long-standing tussle made headlines again when Vista Subang and D’Aman residents came out in droves to stop the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) from building a new access road to link the low-cost flats to Jalan PJU 1A/41A, saying that they did not need the new road because it was a longer route.
In fact, their objection was anticipated by the council as the contractor had lodged a police report right before commencing the construction of the 750m-long road on government reserve land.
The residents’ protests had caused the project to be delayed for more than a year.
Winchester residents, on the other hand, said they had suffered a lot of anguish over the years for having to share the access road, Jalan PJU 1A/43, with Vista Subang as the road could not contain a heavy volume of traffic.
D’Aman residents, the third affected party, did not welcome the new access road because it would take up the land that they were now using as a carpark.
The residents do not want to say who’s right and who’s wrong here. They are only highlighting that the incident has yet again revealed the painful problems of not having a proper access road when a new project was developed.
And, there will still be problems when the access road is built later as a means to fix old flaws.
It is the same as other “road fights” in Petaling Jaya in the last few years. These are the problems residents and motorists have to bear — no thanks to the people who have approve the development projects.
Did they not see the impact of the project when they put their signatures there?
Did they not see that the road leading to the thousands of new residential and commercial units built could not accommodate the traffic volume?
Did they not see the obvious problems as simple as the absence of a proper access road?
Were they that blind or were they blinded by something?
Because of the people who forced the developments through, everyone who lives in the city is haunted by traffic woes.
The first thing they see when they come out of their houses or offices is a sea of cars choking up all the roads in sight.
Building a new road when there’s a jam or offering an alternative access road when residents cry foul is not really the answer, but repeating the same mistakes when approving new projects, will only land us in a more horrendous vicious cycle.
Every inch of land in this city is a piece of gold based on its real estate value, thus developments are taking place at a rapid pace with high density.
Of course, public transportation is not helping. They may have LRT running through the city but its frequency does not tally with the feeder bus service which operates hourly.
So, how do you expect motorists to leave their cars behind and fight with scores of other commuters for a space in bus shelters?
Now we hear from the authorities that they see the problem of fragment planning, and they will look at the whole picture when approving new projects.
Well, we hope they can walk the talk.
They should also bring it a step forward, too. While the voice of the residents — whether they are in favour or not — is part and parcel of a new development now. It should not just involve the few households next to the proposed project.
It should also involve the people living in surrounding housing projects, because they share the same roads.
It is baffling that projects with fundamental problems could be approved but when questioned the rational, they would just say “I followed instructions.”
While we hope the authorities give more attention to proper planning, they must also conduct a post-mortem of their wrongdoings or shortcomings that has brought hardship to the people. They owe us an answer.