MORE stakeholders have come forward in support of the proposed Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex).
They comprise non-governmental organisations, residents associations and Rukun Tetangga from several parts of Petaling Jaya including Jalan Kelang Lama, Jalan Templer, Taman Dato’ Haron, Taman Medan and Jalan Gasing.
They are Girl Guides Association Malaysia Selangor Branch, National Users of Public Transportation Association, Rukun Tetangga Taman Medan Baru, All-Petaling Jaya Residents Association Coalition, Pertubuhan Perkumpulan Perempuan Malaysia, Rukun Tetangga Section 17, Petaling Jaya Selatan Pengkalan Pekan Lama Taxi Drivers Association, Petaling Jaya Selatan Rukun Tetanga and Pangsapuri Permai Rukun Tetangga.
Their representatives said local roads could not cope with the traffic as they were being used by motorists from Kuala Lumpur heading towards parts of Puchong and Subang Jaya and vice versa.
They support Kidex because the expressway will provide a traffic dispersal solution and offer a much needed alternative as existing roads can no longer cope with the number of vehicles.
Petaling Jaya Selatan Rukun Tetangga chairman and coordinator Shamsuddin Hassan said the Jalan Templer roundabout and Jalan Kelang Lama could no longer support the heavy traffic volume.
“The traffic situation has been bad in the Old Town area since 2000. However, it has worsened in the last three years. The new development projects in surrounding areas such as PJ Sentral, Section 13 and Section 52 will completely choke the roads.
“I take 45 minutes or longer to travel from Jalan Assunta to Jalan Othman during rush hours. It is only 1km away but traffic here is a nightmare and this happens even during weekends.
“When it rains, the route is jammed up to 10pm or later,” he said.
He added motorists were also using trunk roads such as Jalan 3/57 and Jalan 3/60 to head to SMK Assunta.
“Residents can’t leave their houses during rush hours,” said Shamsuddin who managed to gather some 3,000 residents’ signatures to support Kidex within two weeks.
He was among about 15 representatives from these organisations who gathered at the Girl Guides Association Malaysia Selangor Branch office in Jalan Tanjong, off Jalan Gasing yesterday.
He said even if Kidex could reduce 35% of the existing traffic, that would be sufficient.
National Users of Public Transportation Association president Ajit Johl pointed out that both public and private vehicles used the same roads.
“Many rely on taxis or buses to reach their destination and when existing roads are congested, they will be affected.
“Highways like the New Pantai Expressway have helped reduce the number of vehicles on local roads,” he said.
Ajit said high taxi fares could partly be attributed to traffic congestion.
He said Kidex should not be politicised as it would benefit the public.
“Congested roads have a negative impact on economic activities too,” said Ajit. His association sent a letter in support of Kidex to the Selangor Mentri Besar in October last year.
Rukun Tetangga Section 17C chairman Mokhtar Yaakub wants Kidex to be built soon.
He said those against the expressway should look at the bigger picture instead of just their self-interest.
“Many said the LRT was a waste of public money but look at the convenience it has brought,” he said.
PPPSM deputy president Rafidah Harun said the bad traffic congestion had had a negative impact on women and children in the community.
“My neighbour in Petaling Utama in Taman Sri Manja was forced to give birth at home because the ambulance arrived late due to the traffic jam,” she said.
Rafidah added that children were spending too many hours on the road to get to and from their school and home.
Girl Guides Association Malaysia Selangor Branch representative Mokkeri Main said their members were regularly caught in bad traffic.
It had also sent a letter in support of the expressway to the Mentri Besar.
Kidex is estimated to cost RM2.2bil, with a planned 13km highway route.
When completed, it will reduce travelling time between Damansara and Kinrara by about 25%.
The traffic volume will also be reduced by 50% in both directions from Puchong to Petaling Jaya.
It is estimated that traffic volume will reduce by about 30% from Taman Tun Dr Ismail, the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) and Bandar Utama to Petaling Jaya.
The highway is estimated to cost RM2.42bil and it will be a 90% elevated highway.