A PERMANENT traffic diversion that will take away direct access into Taman Salak South from Sungai Besi Highway has made residents see red.
The diversion will require residents from Kuchai Lama to use an access road to Taman Naga Emas MRT Station and make a U-turn near Chee Wan San temple before turning left into Jalan Hang Tuah 4.
Salak South Garden Residents Association (SSGRA) chairman Paramasivam Govindasamy complained that the permanent diversion was not only an inconvenience to some 20,000 residents from 5,000 households, but would also affect about 200 businesses located in the area.
Paramasivam, who runs a fitness equipment business, said he had received complaints from customers who told him they were finding it difficult to come to the commercial area of Taman Salak South.
An eatery owner has come to him with a similar complaint.
“We are upset that the interest of the community here has not been considered in this traffic plan.
“Closing off direct access into Jalan Hang Tuah 4 is taking away a main thoroughfare into the housing estate,” he pointed out.
SSGRA vice-president Tan Lay Yiat said residents travelling from Kuchai Lama were required to make a U-turn near Central Residence, a residential high-rise, before heading into Jalan Hang Tuah 4 some 500m away.
“Before this, residents voiced concerns over safety risks as it will require those heading into Jalan Hang Tuah to cross three lanes on a busy highway.
“The new diversion will now require residents to make a second U-turn at Taman Naga Emas MRT station access road.
“I can foresee additional risk to this new diversion as the access road is only some 200m from the first U-turn.
“The shorter distance for a driver to cross three lanes is an additional safety risk,” he said.
Association committee member Richard Khoo said the barring of a direct access road for residents would definitely add to the daily stress of having to traverse city traffic.
“Just imagine how the residents’ quality of life will be affected in the long run with such a winding route.
“It will make coming home an uncomfortable drive,” he said.
There is also the anticipated peak hour traffic congestion at the new access road.
With a new development coming up near the MRT station, Khoo foresees traffic flow will not be smooth because of the added population once the project is completed.
“We want the authorities to review their plan and give us a dedicated access to our housing estate.
“This is the least they can do after inconveniencing the lives of so many residents and business owners who have been paying assessment fees, quit rent and income taxes all this while,” said Khoo.
When contacted, Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) replied that it understood the grievances raised by residents of Taman Salak Selatan and Taman Naga Emas regarding the closure of access to Jalan Hang Tuah 4 from Sungai Besi Expressway.
The construction of the new Taman Naga Emas MRT Station of the MRT Putrajaya Line had resulted in the need to introduce a new traffic system in the area.
However, in view of the issues highlighted by the residents, MRT Corp will conduct a review of the new traffic system.
The company said it would engage with traffic experts and relevant authorities, including the Malaysian Highway Authority and Kuala Lumpur City Hall, for the review process.
While the review is being carried out, MRT Corp appeals to road users in the area to abide by the new traffic system that is implemented for now, as it has been approved by the authorities.
Road users are advised to drive carefully as they approach the area and follow all road signs.