Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the Pemudah Traffic Task Force Committee have teamed up to improve traffic conditions around the city.
The changes to traffic, which involve major roads in the city such as Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Kuching and Jalan Ampang, aim to reduce congestion and facilitate smoother flow of vehicles around the city centre.
Committee chairman Datuk Pardip Kumar Kukreja said so far, around 50 spots in central Kuala Lumpur had been enhanced and he likened the improvements to a software rather than hardware upgrade.
“We started work six months ago and our target is to work on two spots in the city every week.
“We are almost done with improvements along Jalan Tun Razak and our next target is to accelerate traffic flow along Jalan Kuching.
“It will cost not more than RM200,000.
“Poor driving habits and behaviours are causing congestion.
“We need first world mentality drivers to go with our first world infrastructure,” said Pardip, adding that the adjustments to improve traffic flow were also meant to discipline drivers.
He added that they used methods such as a proper single-lane channelisation of traffic to speed up traffic flow and stop criss-crossing of vehicles.
Some of the U-turns and traffic lights were also removed to ease traffic flow.
DBKL executive director (Planning) Datuk Mohd Najib Mohd said they used surveillance videos from the Integrated Transport Information System (ITIS) to study traffic in congested areas and map out possible solutions.
“We cannot be constructing new roads in the city because in the end it will come up to six lanes or more.
“So instead, we are improvising the existing systems as the infrastructure is already good.
Mohd Najib said DBKL planned to develop a more integrated or holistic approach to commuting into the city.
“These improvements are intended to get people from one place to the other more quickly, with priority given to people commuting into the city.
“We are trying to reduce travel time from two hours to 90 minutes so it is not only about road infrastructure but also using public transport as an alternative,” he said.
The heavily congested Jalan Tun Razak was the first road tackled by the committee.
Kerbs were installed at the Jalan Pahang roundabout to prevent motorists from changing lanes.
Traffic lights at the Jalan Tun Razak flyover and the U-turn at Jalan Ampang’s Flamingo Hotel were also removed to create smoother traffic flow.
DBKL officers will be stationed at the Bukit Bintang area to prevent motorists parking along the road and blocking traffic.
“We have also installed two traffic lights at the congested Segambut roundabout to ensure smoother flow of traffic, ” said Mohd Najib.
He added that DBKL would use live video recordings from ITIS and rainfall data from the Drainage and Irrigation Department to identify critical areas affected by flash floods and how to redirect traffic away from the water-clogged roads.
Mohd Najib said vehicles breaking down on major roads in the city was also contributing to traffic congestion.
He said a study would be carried out to determine if there was a need to prohibit old vehicles and those which were not serviced regularly – especially commercial lorries – from entering the city.
He added that another project being carried out was the construction of rain shelters under pedestrian bridges for motorcyclists.
“One of the rain shelters that has been built is at the former U-turn near Flamingo Hotel along Jalan Ampang,” he added.