SEVERAL taxi drivers servicing Petaling Jaya Old Town are in support of Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) because of traffic congestion during peak hours.
The Petaling Jaya Selatan Pengkalan Pekan Lama Taxi Drivers Association chairman Roslan Ahmad said the bad traffic conditions have affected the livelihood of taxi drivers.
“Our customers want to arrive at their destination as fast as possible. However, it is almost impossible to not get caught in a traffic jam from Taman Dato’ Harun to Jalan Templer or Jalan Gasing during the morning and evening rush hours.
“When caught in a traffic jam, what would have been a 10-minute journey can take up to an hour,
“Passengers have to pay more and because of the jam, some taxi drivers refuse to go to these areas,” said Roslan.
He felt Kidex would help reduce congestion caused by those who travel via Jalan Gasing and Jalan Templer to Puchong, Taman Dato’ Harun and vice versa.
He added that with the expressway, the Sunway toll plaza on the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP) should be less congested.
He said when the New Pantai Expressway was opened, many opposed it, but now they realised that it has benefited motorists.
Roslan expressed fear that traffic would worsen when the new school term starts today.
“Schoolchildren sometimes take up to 90 minutes to get home in the evening. There are many schools and kindergartens in Petaling Jaya Old Town and the neighbouring areas,” he said.
Petaling Jaya Selatan Rukun Tetanga chairman and coordinator Shamsuddin Hassan has lived and grown up in Section 3 PJ Old Town since the 1950s.
Children used to play on Jalan Templer and Jalan Gasing back then, he recalled.
“Drivers not only use Jalan Templer to head to Jalan Kelang Lama but also use it to travel to Taman Dato’ Harun and Sri Manja.
“We cannot depend on just one road as there are too many development projects taking place in Petaling Jaya area including those on Jalan Tandang.
“We need Kidex to help shift traffic from PJ to Puchong and vice versa off residential roads,” he said.
Shamsuddin shared a case of his neighbour in Section 3 who called for an ambulance during an emergency.
“Due to the bad traffic congestion, the ambulance took an hour to get here.
“We have seen people arguing on the road and tempers flaring because of the traffic conditions,” he added.
Shamsuddin said he always used to be against highways including the North-South Expressway (NSE).
However, he is now more aware of why they are needed.
“I was among those who were strongly against the NSE but not anymore.
“It used to take up to 12 hours to drive to Penang from PJ using the trunk roads and another three-hour ferry ride.
“The NSE has reduced travelling time tremendously,’’ he said, adding that we need to look at the bigger picture.
He said even those living in the Section 5 area have not been spared.
“There are those who claim 95% of Petaling Jaya residents do not want Kidex.
“I want to know how they come up with this figure.
“We have close to a million residents living in the PJS area and we want our voices to be heard too,” said Shamsuddin.