Is the proposed pedestrian tunnel between “KL Sentral” (the MRT station) and KL Sentral (the railway and commercial complex) a danger to the public?

TRANSIT took note of an interesting commentary in The Edge business daily about safety risks associated with the proposed pedestrian tunnel connecting the “KL Sentral” MRT Station at Museum Negara with the KL Sentral complex across Jalan Damansara.

We later determined that this commentary was from a stakeholder group MRT Watch, so we hastened to their website and discovered a number of complaints about the proposed tunnel, including the following:

Alternatives required to MRT’s high risk and costly proposed tunnel March 14, 2014

The linkway tunnel project will pose high risk for the KL Sentral, which has a daily population of about 150,000 people including residents, retailers and those working at the companies located in the area. 

We note that underground pedestrian tunnels already exist in KL (at Masjid Jamek LRT station, between Suria KLCC and KLCC station, and between Suria KLCC and the KL Convention Centre) and more are being planned. There are also numerous overhead walkways and bridges, some air conditioned and many not.

While reviewing a few other articles on the same topic at the MRT Watch blog we noted the expression of similar concerns which essentially stated that the tunnel would be:

*costly
*a safety hazard
*a security hazard

The problem that we now have is that MRT Watch has not provided specific details about their concerns…which makes it hard for us to know what to say.

As a public stakeholder group we also  know about the challenges of accessing accurate data in Malaysia where every document is marked “sulit” and public consultation is really “public display”…Although we have noted that there have been minor improvements recently.

The best we can do is ask MRT Watch to clarify their concerns and explain specifically why they think these potential risks exist.

We also suggest that our readers review the statement from MRT Malaysia here (.pdf) to form a critical opinion about this topic.

As always your comments and feedback are welcomed in the space below.

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