RESIDENTS of Taman Klang Jaya in Klang are hoping that authorities will hear their pleas to make the main roads in their neighbourhood safer for all road users.
Since August last year, the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) has been working on upgrading side pavements and kerbs along three roads in the neighbourhood, namely Jalan Serunai 1, Jalan Selampit 29 and Jalan Serunai 14.
The almost 2km stretch will see new pedestrian walkways, road kerbs and also drainage along the path to prevent flooding on the main roads.
However, this project, which was due to be completed in December last year, is still ongoing and only expected to be finished by the end of the month.
“We are very thankful and happy for this upgrading initiative in our neighbourhood, but we hope more thought can be put into the planning of this project,” said Taman Klang Jaya residents association chairman P. Tilaka.
Residents hope that more maintenance work can be carried out, which includes trimming of plants by the road side.
She explained the road kerbs that are being built are too high, making the main road along Jalan Serunai 1 narrower and posing a danger to motorists, especially cyclists and motorcyclists.
Prior to this, there were no kerbs on these roads. Grass and trees grew by the roadside, making the road more spacious and accessible for motorists.
“Now motorcyclists and cyclists have nowhere to go but to manoeuvre dangerously next to cars and even heavy vehicles, as there are factories in the area,” she said.
More worrying is the fact that there are quite a number of students who ride motorcycles or bicycles to the nearby school.
Tilaka had approached MPK’s engineering department with her concerns last year when the works were still ongoing, but they said there was not enough budget to redo everything.
“They could have stopped and looked at the problem, and maybe try to fix it by making the sidewalks narrower or kerbs lower,” she added.
Tilaka hopes MPK will put in more thought into infrastructure upgrading works done around the neighbourhood.
Fellow resident Murthi Muthusamy, 65, said the narrower roads, due to the kerb construction, do not work for the current population and traffic situation now.
“The authorities should consider the past and present traffic conditions, and the best thing would be for them to widen the road because traffic has certainly increased since I moved here,” said Murthi, who has been living in the area for about 40 years.
During a site visit there, a spokesperson from MPK’s engineering department said they were only replacing the kerbs that were in place many years ago.
This upgrading plan was done based on the original kerb alignment, which has been around since the neighbourhood was built.
However, residents pointed out that the traffic conditions and population density in the area have grown since then.
Despite this, senior citizens still cycle to their neighbourhood shops, and the narrower roads pose a danger to them.
Sentosa assemblyman G. Gunaraj, who was there on a site visit, proposed that three changes be made before the construction is completed.
The first would be to realign the road kerb to ensure it does not jut out too much and straighten the alignment in certain areas.
Secondly, wheelchair-friendly ramps must be built at the beginning and end of all road pavements to make them more accessible to pedestrians.
“We will also be pushing for this neighbourhood to be part of the safe neighbourhood (Bandar Selamat) programme, which is under the state and federal government,” he said.
MPK will be proposing two neighbourhoods this year, namely Taman Klang Jaya and Taman Klang Utama, but only one will be picked.
If successful, the main roads in the neighbourhood under the programme will see new street lights, road signs, fencing to safeguard pedestrians, speed breakers for the road and speed humps.
“Residents have informed me that there are many cars speeding along the road at night here, so it is crucial to have speed breakers and speed limit signs.
“Also, residents requested for CCTVs to be installed in the area for both safety purposes and curb rampant illegal dumping around the neighbourhood,” Gunaraj said, adding that the request would be looked into.