KUALA LUMPUR has added a feather in its cap as it moves towards achieving world class status and becoming a liveable city.
The Federal capital will implement its first dedicated bicycle lane, stretching 3km from Menara DBKL 1 in Jalan Raja Laut right up to Menara DBKL 3, Bandar Wawasan in Jalan Raja Abdullah.
Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) senior deputy director (civil engineering and urban transportation) Sabudin Mohd Salleh announced this after hosting ambassadors from eight countries in Latin America at its Integrated Transport Management Centre (ITIS) in Bukit Jalil.
He added that the 3km route was a pilot project and would be ready for the World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur next year.
“The World Urban Forum will be in February, and we are working on the plan and testing out the stretch daily,” Sabudin said.
Sabudin said DBKL was prepared to spend between RM3mil and RM4mil on the project and had hired a consultant to study its feasibility.
“This is not just a dedicated bicycle lane, it is also segregated, which means that motorised vehicles will not be able to get on it.
“We have been planning this for a long time and we have to catch up with other world class cities and provide such facilities,” he said.
“Whether or not people use it is besides the point; people who are conscious of its benefits will embrace it and others will learn to as well,” he added.
Sabudin said if the pilot project proved effective, more dedicated bicycle lanes in the city would be under way, integrated with the public transportation network.
DBKL project management executive director Datuk Mahadi Che Ngah, who represented City Hall during the tour of ITIS, said the city was moving towards sustainable living and steering its citizens to embrace a healthier way of life.
“We have introduced new policies, such as reducing parking bays in the city and creating more park-and-ride facilities outside the city, to encourage people to use public transportation. We even encourage landowners in the city to use their land for other purposes instead of using it for open carparks,” he said.
“We are even looking into the possibility of introducing congestion charges as a last resort if we have to; that’s how committed we are,” he added.
oBike Malaysia business development manager Ian Goh welcomed the move, saying, “We are glad that DBKL is taking a proactive step to develop Kuala Lumpur as a more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly city.
“We have been working closely with DBKL in this initiative by providing feedback, user behaviour and data for planning purposes to improve the cycling ecosystem and infrastructure for a better cycling experience in Kuala Lumpur.”
Prior to the announcement, DBKL took the ambassadors from Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay, Cuba and Venezuela on a tour and demonstration of the ITIS centre.
The event was organised by the InvestKL, in collaboration with DBKL.
The ambassadors were shown the ITIS control room and were shown how the system enabled the city folk to experience a smoother journey by Datuk Pardip Kumar Kukreja a Pemudah-DBKL task force member
They spent about two hours at the centre before proceeding to the Bukit Jalil International Garden.