RESIDENTS and motorists are frustrated with the congestion along Jalan Utara, Petaling Jaya, especially this week, as it takes them an hour to exit the stretch of road during peak hours.
They attributed the problem to laying of pipes outside SMK(L) Bukit Bintang that had reduced the six-lane road to just one lane.
“Roadworks and lane closure near Brickfields Asia College heading towards the school is driving everybody nuts!” said Chow Keng Chin.
“It takes about one and a half to two hours just to exit Wisma LYL at Jalan 51A/223 to Jalan Utara the past few days,” he said, adding that the distance was less than 1km.
He questioned why the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) could not get the contractor to finish the job within 24 hours, or put a proper traffic plan in place before allowing such works to begin.
Section 14 (Jalan 14/1-14/15) Residents Association chairman Selva Sugumaran Perumal said residents had to endure extremely heavy traffic the past few days.
“There is no council traffic warden or traffic policemen to manage traffic flow at the site. It takes us one hour just to exit our neighbourhood and get on the Federal Highway.
“MBPJ and the contractor should ensure that the utility works are carried out in a more organised way,” he said.
Selva Sugumaran added that the congestion was worse during the morning and evening peak hours, when parents pick up and drop off their children at the two schools along Jalan Utara.
He added that residents were upset because despite numerous complaints about the problems with the one-way loop (OWL), the authorities appeared to have ignored their grouses and welfare.
“The bureau has been receiving complaints from parents who are angry with the haphazard OWL system as it makes it difficult for them to send their children to school,” said Selangor MCA Public Complaints Bureau chief Kelvin Chong.
“MBPJ or the contractor should put up signboards to alert motorists about the road works and issue notices so people are aware of any traffic changes,” he said, adding that MBPJ should also brief the parent-teacher associations and teachers of the affected schools.
He added that the OWL system appeared to be a failure as it had not improved the traffic flow in the area.
Bukit Gasing assemblyman R. Rajiv said the utility works outside the school was expected to be completed this weekend and all lanes would be reopened to traffic.
“I was told that there will be similar closures from time to time for the ongoing underground drainage works.
“The entire project is expected to be completed by Aug 31.”
He said MBPJ should improve on its public engagement by issuing notices to the media and residents as well as updating their social media sites.
“I have told MBPJ to update the public on such matters, especially when major roadworks are expected to take place, but it appears that the council has not done so,” said Rajiv.
MBPJ public relations officer Zainun Zakaria confirmed that utility works at the stretch outside the school is expected to be completed by this week.
“The problem is that the congestion is compounded by parents who park by the roadside to pick up or drop off their children at the schools.
“This reduces the two-lane traffic flow during the construction stage to only one,” she said.
Zainun said the council has plans to allocate space for buses and vans for pick-up and drop-off services to the two schools soon.