AFTER enduring months of delay in the upgrading of Jalan Dato Tahwil Azar, the public now has to contend with the uneven paving blocks used in resurfacing the road which hosts the popular Gerbang Malam night bazaar and some of the city’s most famous food outlets.
The rough road surface, they say, is a tripping hazard, especially for senior citizens and children.
Restaurant worker Winnie Kwek said it is difficult to walk even with flat shoes on.
“I cannot imagine how a person wearing heels can actually make it across the road, let alone walk the entire length of the night bazaar.
“I must say the road looks really, nice but the surface is rather impractical,” she said.
According to Kwek, an elderly customer recently complained of hurting her chest when trying to break her fall when walking.
“She’s an old lady already in her 80s. Thank goodness she didn’t sprain her ankle that time,” said Kwek, adding that the sharp edges of the blocks could potentially cause more injuries should someone fall on the road.
Echoing Kwek’s concerns, a 60-year-old noodle seller who declined to named from a nearby coffee shop said many of her customers had voiced their disapproval of the council’s choice of surface.
“Besides being a safety hazard to pedestrians, I should think that the tiles also wear out vehicle tyres,” she added.
If able-bodied people are finding it difficult to walk on the resurfaced road, it is even more difficult for a disabled person like Wong Kean Ming, who is 65 years old and blind. Wong said he tries to be extra careful when making his way about the area to sell lottery tickets.
“A couple of times I nearly tripped when my walking stick got lodged between the blocks. Luckily though, I was able to prevent myself from falling. Why the need for such a jagged road surface?
“I hope the council will consider evening out the road or at least filling up the gaps between the blocks for the safety of pedestrians, especially those like me,” he added.
A reader of The Star, who identified himself as Shao Ming, also wrote in to complain about the condition of the road.
“Could it be that the purpose of the road is to slow down passers-by so they look at stall products?” he asked.
The rough surface could cause cuts to pedestrians and could also damage car tyres, he added.
The blocks were installed as part of a RM3.5mil beautification project along the road popular among tourists eager to savour Ipoh’s taugeh chicken, taufu fah and salt baked chicken.
Initially scheduled for completion last September, the project, which also included the upgrading of drains as well as installation of street lights and walkways, was delayed for several months and was only completed at the end of last month.
When contacted, a council spokesman said it would look into the matter.