RESIDENTS from Taman Salak Selatan, Kuala Lumpur, facing heavy traffic caused by a temporary road diversion want an alternate route built if the rerouting becomes permanent.
Taman Salak Selatan Residents Association president G.P. Sivam said the road diversion was installed on May 20 without any prior notice to the residents.
Concessionaire for Sungai Besi Highway (Besraya) IJM Corp Bhd placed the diversion on the Jalan Tuanku 1 exit, which required motorists to take the traffic-light controlled route instead of the flyover to Kuala Lumpur.
“We want to know what they are doing. Our regular route is affected and the traffic is killing us,” Sivam said.
He added that the time it took to exit Taman Salak Selatan and Taman Naga Mas during morning rush-hour had doubled, from 30 minutes to an hour.
“We want the diversion removed. If it is going to stay, there needs to be an alternative exit route,” said Sivam, suggesting that an underpass be built to enter and exit the area.
Car mechanic Wan Kong Woh, whose shop is located along the Jalan Tuanku 1 exit, said the traffic built up as early as 6.30am and lasted until 8.30am.
“The long wait at the traffic light makes people become impatient and jump the lights,” he said.
To help reduce the congestion, the green-light time for the traffic lights had been lengthened from 130 seconds to 160 seconds.
Wan, who has also been a resident of Taman Salak Selatan for 10 years, said motorists were starting to use an alternative route from Seri Petaling to Kuala Lumpur instead of the Jalan Tuanku 1 exit.
An IJM spokesman said the diversion was meant to improve traffic flow and prevent people from cutting across two lanes to get to the ramp heading to Kuala Lumpur.
“We have been getting complaints from road users and the Malaysian Highway Authority that traffic had been worsening because of the gridlock caused by people changing lanes to take the ramp or head to Kuchai Lama,” said the spokesman during a meeting between IJM officials and residents at the site.
He said the backlog started at the ramp and went all the way to the turn-off to Terminal Bersepadu Selatan around 1km away.
“Traffic was bad the first day, but the traffic improved today (the fourth day) as people became familiar with the traffic flow,” he said.
The spokesman said they were testing the diversion and would decide by the end of the week whether to remove, alter or keep it.
Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, who arranged the meeting, said she had asked IJM to remove the diversion.
However, the concessionaire insisted on completing the testing period.
She said the congestion in the area – which had over 3,000 residents – was long-running and difficult to resolve, and applauded IJM for trying out new measures.
Kok added that there needed to be a better solution as there had been several accidents caused by people using an alternative exit along Jalan Hang Tuah 4 to try to get to the flyover.