People stay away from pedestrian bridge due to safety concern. TRANSIT: Surprise, surprise.

TRANSIT took note of this article detailing concerns about a pedestrian flyover near the Hang Tuah LRT & Monorail interchange.

Apparently the flyover has been occupied by vagrants and is unlit at night – discouraging people from using the flyover and instead, risking their safety crossing the street below.

TRANSIT is saddened and disappointed but we can say that we are not shocked at all that this is happening.

People stay away from pedestrian bridge due to safety concern
By BAVANI M
bavanim@thestar.com.my

THE pedestrian walkway and bridge at Jalan Dewan Bahasa and Jalan Hang Tuah which was built to allow pedestrians to cross Jalan Hang Tuah to get to the monorail station and the Hang Tuah LRT station has now become a den for drug addicts and vagrants.

Due to safety concerns, the public has stopped using the bridge due to the presence of these seedy characters who seem to have made the bridge their “home”.

“The people are afraid of using the bridge especially at night. It has now become a sleeping place for vagrants and I have seen drug addicts loitering on the bridge,’’ said Chen Kee Tuck, a resident of Hang Tuah flats.

There have been many cases of snatch thefts on the bridge. The people are afraid of using it,’’ said the 71-year-old.

Danger nearby: Many pedestrians avoid using the bridge as there has been cases of snatch thefts and robberies. Photo by NORAFIFI EHSAN (The Star)

Another resident of Hang Tuah flats resident K. Raman, 58, said even the schoolchildren were afraid of using the bridge in the morning.

“Parents have to escort their children and even the young women going to work have stopped using the bridge,’’ Raman said.

To avoid all these dangers, the residents are left with no choice but to dash across the busy road to get to the other side, not realising that their “safe” choice is also putting them in danger.

“The volume of pedestrian traffic is quite high here and if people are afraid to use the bridge; there is a high chance of them risking their life or losing their limbs by dashing across the road,’’ said Bukit Bintang PPP head Sathiah Sudakaran.

A check by StarMetro yesterday revealed many disturbing signs. It was obvious that the bridge has become a haven for these dodgy characters because there were no lighting on it.

All the fluorescent bulbs were not working as vandals had stolen the wiring for the lights and in some spots the lights were even missing.

Wires were jutting out from corners while pipes were hanging loose at some corners.

The garbage bin on the bridge was burnt to the core and bottles of cheap liquor was found strewn all over the bridge.

At the dark corner at the bottom of the bridge; a vagrant has turned the dingy spot into his “home”.

“At night the place is so dark that we just do not want to take any chance of using it,’’ said Suraya Ahmad who lives nearby.

“Why take the chance, there have been robberies here in the past two months,’’ said the mother of three.

Concerned residents sought help from Federal Territory People’s Progressive Party (PPP) chairman Datuk A. Chandrakumanan, who made a visit to the bridge to check its condition as well as talk to the residents.

“It is a nice bridge, however, development of any sort is pointless if there is no periodic maintenance carried out to ensure the projects and qualities remain first class,’’ said Chandrakumanan.

Chandrakumanan proposed that Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) install shutters to block access to the bridge from midnight to 6am to prevent vagrants from using the bridge to sleep.

“This would also solve the vandalism problem and help DBKL save money in the long run.’’ he said.

Chandrakumanam added that his team had tried to seek help from the National Drugs Agency (AADK) to help rehabilitate the addicts; but were told that there was not much AADK could do as the addicts were foreigners.

“We are not going to stop there; we’ll try the immigration next,’’ he said.

The 3m wide and 80m long bridge was opened on Jan 2010.

The bridge is part of the RM91mil project comprising two flyovers, a pedestrian walkway and traffic lights system at Jalan Dewan Bahasa/Jalan Hang Tuah/ Jalan Maharajalela/Jalan Loke Yew to help ease congestion in the area.

TRANSIT Says:

Why’d you have to go and make things so complicated? More importantly, why does this keep happening to us here in Malaysia?

Build new infrastructure, forget about maintenance. It is the national curse.

And to make things worse we inconvenience one significant group (pedestrians) for the sake of another significant group (drivers … or should we say, the cars that control them).

With all the talk about how great this network of pedestrian walkways was going to be, how much did we ever hear about plans to ensure that the walkways were safe, comfortable and monitored by the local government?

Our transport planners & urban planners may allow themselves to be impressed by overhead walkways in places like Hong Kong but they need to remember this very important detail: Flyovers & subways are not natural for humans. We belong at ground level where we have safety, visibility & convenience.

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4 thoughts on “People stay away from pedestrian bridge due to safety concern. TRANSIT: Surprise, surprise.”

  1. Dear Transit.

    I find this article interesting. Especially since I’ve been using the bridge regularly at daylight. Hope the police will do something, especially since its very close to the Police HQ.

    It feels like DBKL is doing badly in the financial, technical and policy making department

  2. one time, I took an LRT ride to Cheras station (the one before Salak Selatan) at 8pm. I walked the bridge crossing the MAJU expressway to Chan Sow Lin. It was very eerie. I had to be alert and was going to bolt if something happened. I vowed never to walk that way again.

  3. @Jerping
    Now you know how some parents or even adult individual felt for their children or themselves to walk alone even in the middle of the bustling city centre. It is not just because of the hot scorching sun, it is not just because of heavy rain, it is not just because of the distance, sometimes there are reasons more than meet the eyes. Trust me, I believe the majority of Malaysians are not really lazy to walk, it is just that we need to understand the actual reasons behind it and safety is one of the big issues.

    1. Part of the reason for this may also be because construction is still going on at Hang Tuah LRT / Monorail station to connect the two station concourses (making the area one big construction site) that it just feels unsettled and not “normal”

      Construction of a new station concourse connection the Hang Tuah LRT & Monorail stations.

      A view of the Hang Tuah LRT station and the concourse under construction.

      On the other hand, the Jalan Dewan Bahasa elevated ramp combined with the widened Jalan Hang Tuah and other factors may combine to make the area unfriendly for pedestrians.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

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