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Friday September 27, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday September 27, 2013 MYT 9:51:48 AM
by brenda ch'ngphotos by norafifi ehsan
Smoother traffic: Jalan SS16/1, section near the Subang Commuter station which was turned into a one-way street.
NO ONE-way street! That is the response from a large segment of the public to proposals of such a traffic system.
They believe it is an unnecessary change, a waste of money and will cause more congestion.
Briefings held by local governments to inform residents and other stakeholders about the implementation one-way traffic system are commonly met with protests and objections.
The opposition is usually fuelled by the fear that a change in flow will create more traffic snarls than alleviate congestion.
In Petaling Jaya, the impending project to turn Jalan Utara, Jalan Timur, Jalan Sultan and Jalan Barat into a one-way loop has raised an outcry among residents (see accompanying story on next page).
Meanwhile, the plan to change Jalan SS15/4G, a commercial area in Subang Jaya, from two-way system to one-way was also initially opposed.
SS15 Rukun Tetangga secretary Michael Sundram said residents were not agreeable to that change when proposed by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ).
Taman Berkeley Residents Association member Anson Ang said Klang residents opposed the conversion of Jalan Kasawari 6 in Taman Eng Ann when it was first proposed years ago.
Jalan Kasawari 6 is a busy street connecting two neighbourhoods in Klang — Taman Eng Ann and Taman Berkeley.
Similarly, the one-way loop system around the Klang Indian Street area along Jalan Tengku Kelana received objections when first proposed by the Klang Municipal Council (MPK).
Residents say that local councils should not always resort to the one-way traffic system to alleviate traffic congestion at business hubs and busy main roads, as they feel a more effective measure would be tightening the enforcement against errant motorists.
“If local governments can ensure motorists do not double park and that there are enough parking bays, then I think there will not be traffic congestion in the first place,” said a USJ 11 resident who only wants to be known as Lee. He lives opposite the busy commercial hub in USJ10 Taipan, Subang Jaya.
He pointed out that there was still congestion despite the one-way street system in place, and this was caused by the rampant double parking.
He suggested that a timed-parking system, like the one already implemented in USJ10, as an alternative solution.
USJ10 has a one-hour parking system, which only allows motorists to park for maximum of one hour.
The other side
The local authorities believe otherwise, and they have successful cases as proof.
For example, the recently converted Jalan SS15/4G and Jalan SS16/1 in Subang Jaya.
“Traffic there is smoother now. It is also safer since motorists weave less,” said a spokesman from Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ).
Jalan 16/1 was also notorious for indiscriminate parking by shoppers and delivery trucks, which caused problems for the two-way traffic. In addition, motorists were making U-turns illegally near the Subang Commuter station and at the Jalan SS16/2 traffic light junction.
“On a two-way street, motorists sometimes drive across the path of oncoming traffic when they spot a parking space on the other side of the road and this endangers others.
“Although motorists currently have to go a bigger loop in SS16, it is much safer and there is no congestion. The one-way system allows traffic to flow freely,” he said.
Michael acknowledged that traffic at the busy Jalan SS15/4G had been smoother since it was turned into a one-way traffic.
“But I hope MPSJ will put up more signage as residents are still not used to the system here and motorists often get into fights and accidents,” he said.
“The only signage available to inform residents of the change are white arrows drawn on the street, which are often obscured by vehicles driving on the road,” he added.
According to the MPSJ spokesman, there are 13 streets in Subang Jaya that have been converted into one-way.
Other councils such as MPK and Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) support the one-way traffic system and state that it is only implemented at busy main roads and commercial hubs with heavy traffic.
“In engineering terms, we call it a traffic dispersal system. This simply means traffic will have to go a bit further to get to the central business district,” said a spokesman from the MPK engineering department.
He explained that the one-way system would allow for higher traffic capacity on roads.
“Also, the one-way system helps strike a balance between the under-utilised and heavily utilised roads in the areas affected,” he added.
Agreeing with him is an MBPJ engineer, who said the use of traffic lights was minimised via the one-way system.
He said that at the intersection of dual carriageways, three to four traffic lights would be in place.
“However, with the one-way traffic system, the four traffic lights can be reduced to two or sometimes even completely eliminated.
“When fewer traffic lights are used, it follows that traffic is smoother,” he said.
Where it’s done and who pays
The system is also employed for roads outside schools.
Although it is a no-no for one-way systems to be done in residential areas, there is an exception where there is a school located.
The road affected will be made a one-way during peak hours, in the morning and evening.
“It can never be permanently converted into one-way in housing areas,” said the MPSJ spokesman.
Meanwhile. conversion of roads into one-way is usually funded by the local authority if there are no new developments in the area.
However, if there is a new development which will require a one-way system to cater to an increase in traffic, the developer will have to pay for the work.
Whenever an application for a new development comes in, local governments will request for a traffic impact assessment to be done on current and future traffic situations.
Once done, the developer has to present it to the respective local council.
If there is a necessity to change routes, create one-way system or even build flyovers to alleviate future traffic congestion, the developer will have to carry out the changes.
Tags / Keywords:
Central Region, Transport & Safety, one-way street, MBPJ, MPK, MPSJ
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