I am writing to urge Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to immediately alleviate severe traffic congestion at Bulatan Dato’ Onn, more commonly known as Bank Negara roundabout.
Over a year ago, the much- anticipated upgrade to this roundabout was completed.
It was expected that the two “through traffic” lanes which cut across the roundabout would offer much-needed relief to motorists, especially during peak hours.
However, these lanes remain closed for reasons unknown.
The roads, freshly painted and aesthetically pleasing, raise questions about their purpose.
It is my suspicion that there were intentions to transform this area into a recreational space, potentially attracting families with children.
However, because of the challenges of accessibility as well as air and noise pollution, these plans appear to have been abandoned.
Which parent would willingly bring a child to such a noisy and polluted environment?
Considerable public funds have been invested in improving infrastructure around this roundabout, but is it serving the needs of the motoring public?
The Bank Negara roundabout is a vital hub in Kuala Lumpur’s central road transport network.
The traffic here often grinds to a halt, forcing drivers to endure lengthy delays.
To make matters worse, during peak hours, traffic police block specific roads leading to the roundabout, resulting in frustratingly lengthy detours for motorists.
For instance, those coming from Jalan Kinabalu are forced to take a detour via the Bank Rakyat building, then head to Jalan Parliamen before they are finally able to return to the same roundabout.
Not only does this situation extend the time it takes for motorists to reach their destinations, it also imposes additional costs in terms of fuel and vehicle maintenance.
Economists refer to these costs as externalities and it seems that City Hall has yet to fully appreciate the added burden on road users.
Commuters who rely on this roundabout daily are growing increasingly frustrated, as there appears to be no sense of urgency in addressing traffic issues at this major artery.
I implore City Hall to act promptly and open the two “through lanes” without further delay.
Doing so would not only bring relief to the motoring public but also save valuable time and fuel as well as reduce stress levels.
Dr Pola Singh