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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Residents want proposed projects completed soon to solve congestion

Residents want proposed projects completed soon to solve congestion


WHEN can the Petaling Jaya City Council implement the long-term projects proposed early last year to alleviate the congestion problems plaguing the entire PJU area? The council had approved 17 short-, mid- and long-term projects to address the perpetual traffic problems that have caused housing estates here to be in dispute with each other over the use of roads.
Two long-term projects recommended were to build an elevated road crossing at the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) to connect FAS with Ara Damansara, and another elevated ramp connecting Jalan PJU1A/1, Persiaran Tropicana and Jalan Bukit Mayang Emas.
Almost two years have passed but the council has not given residents an answer as to when these two projects can take off. In fact, most of the short- and mid-term projects are also pending for one reason or another.
Choked: Jalan Bukit Mayang Emas that runs parallel to the New Klang Valley Expressway is always congested during peak hours as it is a main access to many neighbourhoods as well as an alternative to toll roads.
For Taman Bukit Mayang Emas residents, the clock is ticking fast as they are worried that a huge volume of traffic will pour in from Ara Damansara once the missing link connecting to Tropicana via Jalan PJU1A/1 opens.
Construction of the link stopped following a court injunction filed by Damansara Idaman residents but the council was determined to open it to ease the choked-up traffic in Ara Damansara, after completing paper work to prove that the road had been surrendered to the state.
Ara Damansara residents cannot wait any longer and are already using the uncompleted road at their own risk, but residents on the Tro­picana side feel it is impossible for the mostly two-lane roads in their area to bear such a high volume of traffic once the link officially opens.
Internal problems: Cars parked indiscriminately within Taman Bukit Mayang Emas
“The council is merely transferring the problem here if they open the road,” said Taman Bukit Mayang Emas Residents’ Association chairman Steven Foo. The housing estate has been there for 16 years. He said traffic from Ara Damansara would clog up Persiaran Tropicana, the Tropicana tunnels, Jalan Bukit Mayang Emas and Kampung Cempaka roundabout that are at the brim of their capacity, to link to the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP).
He added that most of the stretches have only two lanes interrupted by U-turns and unsynchronised traffic lights, while Jalan Bukit Mayang Emas that runs parallel to the NKVE are already sustaining heavy traffic to and from Sungai Buloh, Kepong and Kota Damansara as an alternative to toll road.
Long crawl: A photo taken by a Ara Damansara resident showing the traffic jam motorists have to put up with along the access via the FAS tunnel during peak hours.
Deputy chairman Lum Weng Fook lamented that there were at least seven projects coming up in the area served by only two-lane roads.
“Residents fear development. Developments in Petaling Jaya do not bring progress but nightmares. We shudder to think what will happen when these projects are ready; we are already suffering every day.
“Just how many more years do we have to wait before the council finds a solution?” he asked.
Dangerous: Water seepage makes the pedestrian walkway along the Tropicana tunnel slippery and dangerous.
Lum added that illegal parking was rampant near the area’s eateries and condominiums, so much so that public buses had stopped plying these roads.
“At the rate these high-rise buildings are mushrooming in PJU, I doubt the traffic projects can end our traffic woes,” he said.
Secretary Jenny Tan said even though residents had been invited to give their views at MBPJ dialogues nothing solid had been done.
“We had our say at the traffic briefing where we were told about the 17 projects but two years have passed. It is still the same,” she said.
Mutiara Tropicana Residents’ Association chairman Muhammad Ismail Muhammad Yusuf said opening the link would endanger the lives of many pedestrians and school-going children.
“There are two schools located near the Tropicana tunnels, many students walk to school from home but the traffic is always so heavy. We shudder to think what will happen when the link opens,” he said.
The new Tropicana tunnel, which opened in August 2009, is in bad condition with water seepage, deep potholes and cracked concrete, affecting traffic flow.
Status of the traffic projects announced in early 2009
Short-term proposals
• Physical improvement to existing Lembah Subang tunnel (done)
• Operate Lembah Subang tunnel and southern section of Jalan Taman Emas 2 as one-way east-bound (done)
• Completion of Jalan PJU1A/44 (pending)
• Conversion of Jalan PJU 1A/4A roundabout with Jalan PJU1A/4D to a signalised T-junction (pending)
• Widening of Jalan PJU1A/4A from two lanes to four lanes (pending)
• Completion of a four-lane road between Jalan PJU1A/1 and Jalan PJU 1A/4A (pending)
• North-South link between Jalan PJU1A/1 and Jalan Lembah Subang (pending)
• Improvement at the ingress from Jalan PJU1/28 northbound into Jalan SS25/29 (pending)
• Improvement of LDP junctions at Jalan SS25/29 and Jalan SS25/23 (pending)
• Roundabout design at Jalan Hilir Bandar Utama/Jalan Tropicana Sela­tan junction (replaced by a U- turn)
• Raising road embankment near Persiaran Surian/Jalan PJU3/31 (pending)
• U-turn facility at Persiaran Surian (pending)
Medium-term proposals
• Improvement of Persiaran Surian (tender put up)
• Realignment of road to avoid residential road in Kelana Idaman (pending)
• Construction of missing link along Jalan PJU1A/1 to connect Ara Damansara and Tropicana (court injunction)
Long-term proposals
• Elevated road crossing at NKVE to connect FAS with Ara Damansara (pending)
• Elevated ramp connecting Jalan PJU1A/1, Persiaran Tropicana and Jalan Bukit Mayang Emas (pending)

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