One-way route reason behind low customer numbers, say traders

Lee Pei Fang helps to run a coffeeshop along Jalan Besar. She said that since changing the road into a one-way street, her business had suffered.

IT HAS been more than eight months since the one-way route system was introduced along part of Jalan Besar, as well as Jalan SK12/1 and Jalan Raya 1 in Seri Kembangan.

The state government had allocated RM36mil for the project, which involved converting the four-lane dual carriageway into a one-way road.

Traffic lights were also replaced with two U-turns for motorists to use to get to Jalan Utama and Jalan Serdang Perdana from the Sungai Besi Highway; while motorists from the highway were required to make a U-turn at the KTM Serdang or Serdang Petronas station to get to Seri Kembangan.

Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah had said that phase two of the project would start this year, including a road-widening project to manage the high volume of vehicles.

However, some parties are claiming that since the system was implemented in April last year, it had not served its purpose of alleviating traffic problems, and was even affecting businesses in the area and endangering the safety of pedestrians.

Serdang Federation of Associations president Datuk Yap Pian Hon said that traffic during peak hours remained bad, and had merely shifted from Jalan Besar to various access and exit points within Seri Kembangan.

Negative impact: A shop in Jalan Besar with for sale and rent signs. The Serdang Federation of Associations has claimed that the one-way traffic does not solve traffic congestion in Seri Kembangan and might be affecting businesses in the area.
Negative impact: A shop in Jalan Besar with for sale and rent signs. The Serdang Federation of Associations has claimed that the one-way traffic does not solve traffic congestion in Seri Kembangan and might be affecting businesses in the area.

“Some cars are using the Seri Kembangan and Serdang Raya new village roads to bypass the main road. This has created congestion within the new villages, which has never happened before,” he claimed.

The Serdang Federation of Associations is a local non-governmental organisation representing some 30 societies in the area.

Yap added that there was a daily jam of vehicles stretching as far back as two kilometres before and after the Mines Toll Plaza on the Sungai Besi Highway heading towards Seri Kembangan, due to closure of right turns towards Jalan Besar.

“There is also a long queue of vehicles from the PLUS North-South Highway turn-off into the Selangor Turf Club and back to Seri Kembangan every evening,” he said.

StarMetro spoke to some traders in the area, many of whom commented only on condition of anonymity.

Motorcycle workshop owner, who only wanted to be known as Kong, said his business had dropped by more than 50% since the one-way road system was implemented.

“I will have to close down my business if this continues,” said Kong, 58, who has been operating his shop for over 30 years.

Coffeeshop owner Lee Pei Fang, 63, said her business was not severely affected, but it was not as good as before.

“It has declined since the one-way road system started.

“After it was converted, the authorities did not put up proper signage and many of my customers, especially those travelling from outstation or who are not from around here, got confused with the directions,” said Lee.

“These days many people just drive straight through without stopping,” she said.

Lee, a resident of Seri Kembangan New Village, said that some road users used village roads as a shortcut to avoid traffic congestion on the main road.

A gold and jewellery shop owner, who wished to be known as Cheong, 70, said that his business was not badly affected as he received more regular buyers than walk-in customers.

However, he expressed his concerns on pedestrian safety.

“The cars speed down the lane very fast and there is only one pedestrian crossing,” he said.

“If you improve the infrastructure, you should also include enough facilities for the people.

“One pedestrian crossing is not sufficient as the road is very long,” he said, adding that it was also inconvenient for older people who wanted to cross the road after doing their marketing at the Seri Kembangan morning market.

Cheong also said that creating a four-lane one-way system did not solve traffic congestion, as vehicles would still face a bottleneck when they got to South City Plaza.

He said human factors were to blame for the traffic congestion as people double-parked on the side of the road.

“Back when this was still a dual carriageway, people often double-parked as well but now they do not even have designated parking spots for the cars to stop at,” said Cheong, adding that the authorities should provide a carpark instead.

A visit to the petrol station around the corner of Jalan Besar revealed that they had ceased operations earlier this year.

An employee said that business had declined by 60%.

Meanwhile, Yap said that the best solution to the traffic congestion along Jalan Besar was the construction of an interchange near Taman Universiti Indah and Taman Equine linking to the MEX highway.

“The Federal government has allocated RM90mil for this project which is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

“We are of the opinion that this is the most viable solution; not the one-way traffic which is now implemented,” said Yap.

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