BUSINESS owners and workers in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman are divided over Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) plan to close the busy road to traffic every Sunday.
Those who are for the plan say fine-tuning is important to ensure minimal disruption to businesses and customers at the shopping hotspot known for its textile and clothing shops.
DBKL is considering closing the road, popularly known as Jalan TAR, from 6am to midnight on Sundays to make way for live performances, art exhibitions and sports events.
Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias told Dewan Negara on Aug 11 that the closure would take effect from Sept 28.
The road closure spans from Sogo KL shopping centre at the Jalan Esfahan junction towards Panggung Bandaraya in Jalan Tun Perak.
Jalaluddin said various activities were planned for the pedestrian zone, including buskers, creative art performances and traditional sport programmes.
He added that DBKL was also studying proposals to do the same at a stretch between Jalan Pudu and Jalan Bukit Bintang.
Textile shop worker Hartina Lanivi, 32, welcomed the plan to turn part of Jalan TAR into a pedestrian zone, but was against allowing buskers to perform along the two-lane road.
“Even now, many premises have sound system installed, with music blasting from morning until evening.
“Many customers have complained about the noise, which will worsen if live performances are held here too,” she told StarMetro.
Another worker Hizwan Abd Rahim, 44, said DBKL must ensure that programmes in the area were sufficiently spaced out among the brick-and-mortar shops.
“Otherwise, it will be difficult for our customers to walk on the five-foot way, which might deter them from shopping and affect our business.
“It is best for the authorities to hold an engagement session with local stakeholders to get our input,” he said.
Traditional clothing trader Sidek Noor Zubir, 33, was optimistic that the closure of Jalan TAR would boost businesses in the area.
“Customers will be able to move about freely with the lack of traffic.
“Closing the road is not an issue as this happens every year on weekends during Ramadan,” he said, adding that customers could also walk to and from Dataran Merdeka to Jalan Raja.
Shopper Huzaifah Yusof, 30, said DBKL should consider implementing a similar plan in other hotspots in Kuala Lumpur.
“This is a positive step to reduce the usage of personal vehicles and encourage people to take public transport,” he added.