Jalan Genting Klang's proximity to city makes it popular for development

DBKL is in the process of upgrading Jalan Genting Kelang from four to six lanes from the junction of Jalan 1/27A to MRR2 totaling 1.5km.

DBKL is in the process of upgrading Jalan Genting Kelang from four to six lanes from the junction of Jalan 1/27A to MRR2 totaling 1.5km.

JALAN Genting Kelang and its surrounding neighbourhoods are in danger of being overdeveloped as investors and developers continue to flock to the area.

Since the 1980s, Jalan Genting Kelang has been an important route for motorists travelling from Gombak, Wangsa Maju and Ampang to the city centre.

Jalan Genting Kelang lies in between two parliamentary constituencies, Setiawangsa and Wangsa Maju.

Some of the landmarks in the area include Wardieburn Camp, University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Royal Selangor Pewter Factory and Hospital Tawakal.

New landmarks include the KL Festival City Mall and Columbia Asia Medical Centre.

With its easy access to the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2), Jalan Tun Razak (via Bulatan Pahang) and now the Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway (DUKE), the area surrounding Jalan Genting Kelang has become a hot property over the past few years.

But with the many high-rise residential buildings and commercial lots that have sprouted in the area within the past 10 years, residents of nearby neighbourhoods are worried more development could affect their standard of living and worsen traffic problems.

Residents’ concerns

Speaking to residents and business owners, many lamented that traffic congestion was the main problem they faced.

A business owner who only wanted to be identified as Lee said it usually taook more than 40 minutes to get to Bulatan Pahang from Setapak.

“During peak hours, the traffic here is at a near standstill. Although this is not an unusual problem here in the city, it is worrying as there are so many new developments coming up which will certainly worsen the problem,” he said.

Taman Setapak Indah resident Janet Goh, 48, who has lived here for 20 years, said it was shocking to see the number of residential blocks being built.

“The Setapak area used to be a suburban area where there were no high-rise buildings.

“It was mostly terrace houses and the area was very peaceful.

“But, when these buildings started coming up, the influx of people became too much.

“The current facilities can not support the number of people living in and around here.

“Parking, for one, has become a nightmare.

“With an established neighbourhood such as this, parking spaces were already limited but manageable.

“Now, it is common to see vehicles double- or triple-parked outside these residential buildings.

“Even worse, sometimes it spills over into other neighbourhoods,” she said.

Meanwhile, Desa Setapak resident Mohammad Hafiz Sulaiman, 62, said the terrace houses in his neighbourhood were deteriorating as more families were moving out.

“This used to be a family-oriented residential area, but many of them have either sold or rented out their homes as they are fed up with the traffic problems here.

“Many have rented out to students who study at nearby UTAR or young working adults who have jobs in the city centre.

“The owners seldom check on the houses and oftentimes, do not maintain the homes and many of them look awful and have fallen into disrepair,” he said.

MPs voice out

Setiawangsa MP Datuk Ahmad Fauzi Zahari said in his constituency alone, some 5,000 housing units were expected to be built within the next 10 years.

“Some 2,000 units will be around Jalan Air Panas and Jalan Air Jerneh, while the rest is expected to be in Semarak, near PPR Sungai Bonus and PPR Semarak,” he said when contacted.

“Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) must ensure that before any more projects are approved, all the relevant studies are conducted.

“Traffic impact assessment (TIA) studies are vital and should be made available to the public for transparency,” he said.

Ahmad Fauzi added that DBKL must look into detail the impact of any future developments and ensure that the traffic flow was as smooth as possible.

Wangsa Maju MCA division chief Datuk Yew Teong Look, said the area had a high population density.

“In the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020, this area is designated as residential, with many high-rise residential developments.

“With vacant land becoming scarce, the only way is to build upwards,” he said, adding that one building could easily bring in extra 500 families to the area.

“This has contributed to one of the main problems faced by residents, that is traffic congestion especially along one of the main arterial roads ­­- Jalan Genting Kelang, despite it being upgraded to a three-lane two-way road in 2011,” he said.

Yew, who is also the Federal Territory MCA chairman and former Wangsa Maju MP, said DBKL had upgraded a four-kilometre stretch of Jalan Genting Kelang beginning 2008.

Works included widening of the road, as well as the building of drains and pedestrian walkways.

“However, indiscriminate parking, buses and taxis hogging the road, and, an increase in population has made the road as congested as before the upgrade,” he said.

Wangsa Maju MP Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong said more attention should be given to upgrading the public transport system in the area.

“Currently, the nearest train station is the Wangsa Maju LRT station and it is well utilised. But, the bus service needs to be upgraded so that those who live further in, can have access,” he said.

Meanwhile, DBKL, in a statement, said was in the process of upgrading Jalan Genting Kelang from the junction of Jalan 1/27A to the MRR2.

“The RM27mil project is expected to be completed by March 2015 and will involve the widening of a portion of Jalan Genting Kelang totalling 1.5km from four lanes to six lanes; earthworks, piling and building of a retaining wall next to a green area and slope of Pusat Latihan Polis Tentera (Pulapot); building of two pedestrian bridges at the crossroads of Taman Bunga Raya and UTAR, realigning and reconstructing a ‘monsoon drain’ totalling 1.5km, as well as the relocation of utilities such as water pipes, electrical cables and telecommunication cables.

“With the implementation and completion of this project, traffic congestion will be reduced along Jalan Genting Kelang with a direct flow of traffic from Bulatan Pahang to the MRR2,” the statement said.