Netizens want PJ‘s precious icon retained

  • Community
  • Monday, 05 Jun 2017

HUNDREDS of netizens are against the plan to remove the iconic smallest roundabout in Petaling Jaya.

It was reported in StarMetro that Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) had plans to replace the Baiduri roundabout, better known as the Jalan 222 roundabout, with traffic lights.

However, netizens want the roundabout with a 2m circumference to remain as it is close to their hearts and a novelty in the city.

Some shared their memories using the roundabout for decades.

Asked to comment on the netizens’ sentiment to retain the roundabout, MBPJ engineering director Ismail Shafie said, “We are always open to public views.”

Azniza Zee Burl, who was among those who posted comments on The Star Online’s Facebook page, said people were familiar with the roundabout and that traffic might be heavy at the roundabout but it was moving smoothly.

StarMetro's report on June 2.

“We are so familiar with this roundabout and we do give way. This is Jalan 222’s trademark. Don’t remove it. Many residents grew up driving around it. People used to drive over it as well. As far as I can recall, there weren’t many accidents here. I believe those in that area can vouch for it,” she wrote.

Many supported her idea and some even wanted to petition for the tiny roundabout to be retained.

Vincent Lau said roundabouts were good at locations with low traffic volume.

“I use this roundabout almost every day. I don’t think the traffic volume is that high to justify installing traffic lights,” he said.

Jayce Anthony said placing the traffic light at the tiny roundabout would cause traffic backlog.

“It’s an iconic landmark. Traffic is okay there. Motorists know how to navigate around the roundabout. We have been living here for many years. Placing a traffic light may slow the traffic flow here,” he said.

Thayananthen Varatbaraju said he hoped the roundabout, which has been around for 30 years, would be retained.

Azzir Gräfenberg said a decade ago, motorists could drive over the roundabout which he called the “doughnut”.

Lit Chee Ong said the roundabout was much smaller 30 years ago.

“We don’t call it the smallest roundabout for no reason. What you see now is a bigger roundabout. Cars even drove across it in the past because it was just like a mini road hump. We were so proud that we may possibly have the world’s smallest roundabout in Petaling Jaya.”

Chris Lim said it would be a loss to the city if the iconic roundabout was replaced with traffic lights.

“I still remember when I first started driving and came across this roundabout, I was confused on what I should do next,” said Lim.

However, there were also those who felt it was time the roundabout was replaced with traffic lights as there were numerous near-misses at the roundabout of late.

Sridhar Kumarasamy said it was time to install traffic lights as some inconsiderate drivers were simply not giving way to other motorists.

Elizabeth Yam and Banulata Deva also felt that MBPJ was doing the right thing by installing traffic lights there as the number of vehicles plying the area, especially during peak hours, was much higher compared to 20 or 30 years ago.

MBPJ public relations officer Zainun Zakariah was earlier reported as saying that traffic lights were needed because of heavy traffic in the area.

“There is no date set yet to remove the roundabout but we can confirm it will be replaced with traffic lights,” she said.

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