MBPJ to continue with next phase of new traffic system

of owL. Protest against OWL: StarMetro

THE one-way loop (OWL) in Section 52 will be made permanent. Petaling Jaya mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad revealed this to StarMetro after the Petaling Jaya City Council’s (MBPJ) December fullboard meeting.

Alinah said the decision was made by the council during the infrastructure meeting last week and councillors were in favour of the OWL.

“We will continue with the next phase and execute all that has been planned for the loop, since the councillors agreed to the one-way traffic system. The necessary works will start in January,” she said.

However, Alinah said it was up to the incoming mayor if they wanted changes.

During the fullboard meeting, councillor Ghazali Daud said MBPJ should stop saying that the one-way loop was still on a trial run.

“We should give proper information to the public and not issue statements that the loop is on trial basis,” he said.

When StarMetro contacted councillor Lee Suet Sern, he said based on his personal view, it was too premature to say the loop would be permanent.

Ideally, Lee said he wanted the project consultant to first present the OWL findings to the council before any decision was made.

“During our recent road infrastructure meeting, we discussed in detail the loop issue.

“I feel the consultant should present to us the collated information from the first few months of the OWL implementation.

“If the loop had indeed made traffic flow smoother, then we should agree to the plan.

“For example, if the waiting period at a particular stop was eight minutes previously but has now reduced to only two minutes, it supports the reason for the loop.

“However, the consultant has not presented their findings to us,” said Lee, a civil engineer by profession.

He said there should be another meeting before the decision on the loop was made.

The OWL was implemented on Oct 21, and it started on a chaotic note.

The first fatality on the route occurred in November, involving a hotel staff who tried to cross Jalan Utara.

StarMetro reported on Dec 11 that some 100 residents attended a recent OWL briefing and unanimously expressed their dislike for the loop, simultaneously urging MBPJ to revert the route to two-way traffic.

Affected residents questioned if the OWL had undergone a road safety audit. Some shopowners also complained about business losses they experienced since the loop was implemented.

MBPJ’s final fullboard meeting for 2014 was also the last one chaired by Alinah. Her tenure as mayor will end on Dec 31.

When asked about her experience at the council since 2013, Alinah said she only gave importance to public’s view.

“This includes the views of the silent majority.

“I give importance to the silent majority. They do not get any media publicity and would rather keep a low profile.

“When OWL was implemented, I received numerous positive letters and emails. People came to me personally to say thank you for the changes,” she said.

She added that during her two-year stint as the mayor, she managed to implement a few services and made several changes for the benefit of city folks.

Among them were the PJ Free Bus Service, Park-and-Ride facilities, the OWL and the restructuring of the department organisation.

The 10 council departments were divided into five core areas — Corporate Department, City Planning, City Development, City Business Services and City Services.

The Strategic Planning and One-Stop Centre division, the Audit and Integrity as well as the Legal departments will be monitored directly by the mayor.

The reorganisation of the departments was to improve the council staff’s creativity, performance and innovation.

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