Now you know why we will always have traffic congestion in KL – because we widen roads to allow cars to block them!

TRANSIT took note of this absurd piece of news where the KL government will be spending lots of your RM to widen Jalan Ma’rof in Bangsar, in the area between Jalan Bangsar (where the flyover to/from MidValley is) and Jalan Ara (where the Masjid is).

Why is the government widening only this section of the road? Because this is the area where there is a great deal of congestion caused by taxis that queue up to fill-up with Natural Gas at the Petronas station between Jalan Riong & Jalan Tempinis.

Taxis lining up to fill up natural gas at a petrol station in Jalan Maarof, and causing a bottleneck. Pic by Syarafiq Abd Samad, New Straits Times.

The Petronas station in Bangsar is the only NGV facility in the south side of KL, and the daily queues are a source of frustration for residents, neighbours and taxi drivers alike.

But instead of solving the problem by having Petronas build more NGV filling stations – or even a centralized multi-level filling station in the nearby Tenaga Nasional lands, the DBKL government has decided to widen the road so taxis can queue up.

Jalan Maarof in Bangsar to be widened to three lanes to ease congestion (The Star)
Saturday November 26, 2011

By FAZLEENA AZIZ
fazleena@thestar.com.my

KUALA Lumpur mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail has briefed residents associations and stakeholdwers in Bangsar on the upgrading of Jalan Maarof to ease traffic congestion.

Jalan Maarof will be upgraded from the Jalan Bangsar junction to Jalan Ara near the Masjid Saidina Abu Bakar As Siddiq.

Fuad said the road would be widened from two lanes to three and the stretch would be landscaped.

A walkway will also be built with streetlights installed and the drains realigned.

“Many taxis queue up along the stretch to go to the petrol kiosk so with three lanes, traffic flow will be smoother.

“We are not saying this is the ultimate solution but based on the traffic situation, we have to do something as it was also requested by the residents,” he said.

[TRANSIT: Our question is simple – why has it taken so long for Petronas to build more NGV filling stations as promised years and years ago? And in addition, since the majority of NGV users are taxis, why not build special taxi-only filling stations?]

He added that the cost of upgrading of the road was RM4mil and would take 12 weeks to complete.

Representatives from residents associations of Bandar Raya, Bangsar Park, Lucky Garden and Bangsar Baru and other stakeholders attended the meeting.

Bangsar Baru Residents Asso-ciation president Datuk George Joseph said he hoped that the project would ease traffic congestion.

“The traffic is major problem for the residents returning after a hard day’s work.

“There will still be doubts about the outcome but even if Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) widens the road to five lanes, there is no guarantee it will solve the congestion.

[TRANSIT: One excellent solution would be to extend the KL Monorail (or even better, build a new monorail line) along Jalan Ma’aroof through Bangsar, up to Bangsar Shopping Centre and eventually to Pusat Bandar Damansara. This would serve the dense condominium communities around Bangsar Shopping Centre as well as linking the Bukit Bintang and Jalan Raja Chulan areas (KL Business district & shopping & entertainment hotspots) with KL Sentral (transportation hub), Bangsar LRT (LRT line), Bangsar Village, Bangsar Baru & Bangsar Shopping Centre (more hotspots) with Pusat Bandar Damansara (MRT Line and another business district plus a government area plus the HELP campus).

The Monorail could then be extended from Pusat Bandar Damansara to Jalan Duta (another government area and the Jalan Duta bus terminal) and up to Jalan Ipoh, to eventually meet up with the existing KL Monorail terminal at Titiwangsa interchange!]

“It is the people’s attitude that needs to be changed,” he said.

[TRANSIT: No, it is really the government’s attitude that needs to be changed. Build real investment and solve problems by transforming the way you think, rather than claiming that you are making transformation while simply doing the same old thing!]

Bukit Bandaraya Residents Association vice-president Mumtaz Ali said they were not keen on the idea because this would attract more traffic in the area.

“DBKL has already decided what they want to do but we think this will affect the quality of life in Bangsar.

“With the various developments and redevelopments in the pipeline, the authorities must immediately initiate a holistic and exhaustive traffic impact assessment study.

“Bangsar residents must not be sacrificed just to satisfy one segment of society. Whether this will resolve the problem, only time will tell,” she said.


TRANSIT Says:

You may also be interested in reading the NST’s take on the story above.

What can we say? Problem not solved, it’s only going to get worse.

Why is it that the government cannot think outside the box and find solutions that will work, both locally and holistically to solve public transport and congestion problems.

TRANSIT’s proposed monorail service from KL Sentral to Titiwangsa via Bangsar, Pusat Bandar Damansara and Jalan Duta & Jalan Ipoh would meet the existing public transport needs of the Bangsar area, and connect different public transport services, and reduce congestion.

It is an effective way to use the monorail technology, as a people mover linking higher-capacity forms of public transport and connecting dense areas.

But that still does not mean that we should not work to find a solution for the queuing up taxis at the Bangsar Petronas station and other NGV filling stations.

How long are we going to continue to allow our governments to make ad hoc improvements while destroying the quality of line in KL and the Klang Valley (and other Malaysian cities)?

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3 thoughts on “Now you know why we will always have traffic congestion in KL – because we widen roads to allow cars to block them!”

  1. petronas is reluctant to build more ngv stations because ngv is priced too low that it’s more like a charity than a business operation. expanding ngv operations is not done exactly because of this reason.

    other players (exxon mobil, shell) don’t do ngv because there’s no money in it.

    you can’t build an ngv station just anywhere because nobody wants to build a gas pipeline if you can’t make money out of it…

    my proposed solution: just let ngv/petrol/diesel/taxi cars be at market price so taxis use normal petrol stations like every other country in the world. if taxis don’t have to use only 1 petrol station in the city, you won’t have this kind of problem in the first place.

    1. You’ve got a point there on the cost-effectiveness of building more ngv stations — yet again, there is always a price to pay for everything. IF cabs are using petrol, IF they keep to the market price, the rest of the customers need to bear with the increased fare rate — e.g: in Japan, the cab fare starts at 710 yen (equiv. to approximately RM30) for the 1st 2km. Are we ready for that? Of course, this is only an example.

      The solution they came up with is pretty much short-sighted. If really the core of the problem is the row of cabs (well, at least that is the idea that I’ve got upon reading this article), why not just tell the cab-owners to to fill their tanks off-peak hours >> night time or when the road is less congested. There MUST be a couple of traffic-free hours within the 24 hours that we have every day. Seriously.

      Anyway, just my personal opinion.

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