Expert's claim traffic flow within the Kidex corridor will improve

A majority of existing roads and highways within the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) corridor will see a reduction in traffic congestion when the expressway is built, said an engineer.

Hss Engineering Sdn Bhd executive director Datuk Kuna Sittampalam, who is involved in the Kidex construction project, said the capacity of local roads that Kidex would have direct impact on would be optimised.

“A majority of local roads post-Kidex will see a reduction in traffic, despite an anticipated annual increase in the number of vehicles on the road,” he said.

He was responding to queries from several assemblymen who questioned whether the proposed Kidex would substantially reduce traffic flow within the city.

They said based on a report provided by Kidex, traffic would only be reduced by an average of 5.84% in 2018. By 2028, the average flow would only be reduced by 3.05%.

The assemblymen also claimed that upon the completion of Kidex in 2018, roads such as Jalan Barat would see an increase in traffic flow by 35%, Jalan Sultan by 58%, Jalan Changgai by 109% and Jalan Bukit Jalil Indah by 233%.

Some 43 roads will be effected by Kidex in Petaling Jaya.

According to Kuna, among the roads that will benefit directly from Kidex are Jalan Utara, Jalan Templer (before Jalan Kelang Lama), Jalan Semangat (after Jalan Utara and before Jalan Universiti), Jalan Dato’ Abu Bakar, and part of Jalan Puchong.

Kidex will also alleviate the congestion at Jalan PJS3/40 and Jalan PJS1/25.

The traffic is estimated to reduce by 18% at Jalan PJS 3/40 and 39% at Jalan PJS1/25 in 2018 once Kidex is open.

Kuna also said an increase in traffic volume did not necessarily indicate traffic congestion on a particular road, and that a better measurement was the Level of Service (LOS).

LOS is a qualitative measure to describe how well traffic operates on a segment of the roadway or at a junction.

LOS is the ratio of a road’s volume (V) to capacity (C). Volume is the number of vehicles on a particular roadway. Capacity is determined by two factors: the number of cars a road is able to carry and the number of lanes on the road.

LOS utilises a letter grading system to indicate how well a roadway operates, ranging from ‘A’ to ‘F’. ‘A’ being excellent and ‘F’ congested.

While acknowledging that traffic would increase on certain roads, he said it would still be within the road capacity. He cited two examples.

“By 2028, and upon the conversion of Jalan Utara near Armada Hotel to the one-way traffic loop system, the road will have a capacity to carry 7,200 cars per hour and an estimated 4,516 cars will be using the road on an hourly basis, without Kidex,” said Kuna.

“This translates into LOS ‘C’, where traffic volume on Jalan Utara near Armada Hotel will be able to hold 63% of its full capacity.

“The projected traffic in 2028 with Kidex will be at LOS ‘D’ — an increase of approximately 19% to 5,381 cars per hour. This essentially demonstrates that despite the increase in traffic volume with Kidex, Jalan Utara near Armada Hotel is fully able to operate within the capacity of the road.

“This indicates that the road’s used capacity post-Kidex will be 75%,” he added.

Kuna said the model output for Jalan Bukit Jalil Indah, which was submitted in May 2014, indicated traffic capacity of the road at 19,740 cars per day with 1,696 cars on a daily basis without Kidex, showing a 10% utilisation of road capacity.

“With Kidex, the projected traffic volume on Jalan Bukit Jalil Indah will increase to 5,649 cars per day.

“This translates into 29% of the capacity of Jalan Bukit Jalil Indah,” said Kuna.

Recognising the need for more detailed local road network analysis to address the concerns of Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) and other stakeholders, the highway model has been updated with additional survey data.

This includes additional junctions and link counts, to better reflect daily traffic volume on the local road network along the Kidex alignment.

The Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) was conducted by Rundingan Trafik MZK Sdn Bhd, which is a Malaysian company that has provided professional consultancy services in traffic and transportation planning for the government and private sectors here.

The traffic study of Kidex was conducted using the EMME (Equilibre Multimodal–Multimodal Equilibrium) model, which is a complete travel demand modelling system for urban, regional and national transportation forecasting. EMME has been used for years by the most advanced modellers in the transportation planning industry in over half the world’s most populous cities, and runs some of the world’s most complex transportation forecasting models.

In Malaysia, the EMME software is widely used by many transport consultants as well as government bodies such as Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) and the Malaysian Highway Authority.

The traffic modelling was conducted by Jacobs SKM — one of the world’s largest providers of technical, professional and construction services across multiple markets.

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