Building more highways not the answer


  • Letters
  • Monday, 29 Sep 2014

THIS is in response to the article “Kidex can ease crawl” in StarMetro, which had residents voicing their support for the Kinrara Damansara Expressway (Kidex). The report is not indicative of the damage Kidex will do to the city of Petaling Jaya.

The Say No to Kidex (SNTK) group would like to present the following facts based on our analysis of the Traffic Impact Assessment Report (TIA), Additional Traffic Impact Assessment Report and the Environment Impact Report (EIA) for Kidex.

Firstly, the Preliminary EIA report states the need for the highway as follows: “The main intention of implementing Kidex is to provide relief to the existing traffic congestion at LDP and Sprint...” – Item III, Statement of Need.

To demonstrate the easing of traffic congestion, the Additional TIA Report (Table 5.1 and 5.3) shows data that compares operational performance of existing roads (known as level of service or LOS) with and without Kidex for existing roads by the year 2028.

Although the data shows a reduction in the number of cars using these roads, the LOS for existing roads do not change, with some roads showing worse performance.

In layman terms, LOS F means traffic is slowed down to a crawl and at a standstill at most times.

For LDP, the LOS remains at F with or without Kidex. No doubt Kidex will argue that the study shows fewer cars using the LDP, but fewer cars travelling on the road that still contributes to a LOS F.

LOS for other existing main highways linked by Kidex, namely Kesas, NPE and Federal Highway, are all projected to have a LOS of F by 2028 with or without Kidex.

How will Kidex feeding into an already saturated highway help reduce congestion?

It does not, because Table 5.7 of the Additional TIA report shows the summary of year 2028 for Kidex mid-block highway performance and the majority of the LOS on Kidex itself is projected to be at F — standstill traffic.

Allow SNTK to put this information into perspective: Kidex is a RM2.42bil solution that is projected to work for 10 years only, assuming the 14.9km Kidex is completed and operational by 2018.

Is the subsequent solution to this traffic congestion another highway 10 years later? And will that highway last another 10 years so we need many more highways without end?

Where are the alternative solutions?

Transit, a reputable non-governmental organisation on urban transportation in Klang Valley, has provided a breakdown on Kidex’s cost and compared it to other public transportation options.

The projected cost of the Skyway is more than RM162mil per km, well over the cost of rapid transit options that will move between three and six times as many people as the proposed skyway, occupy less space and produce far less visual and air pollution.

For reference and comparison:

Bus Rapid Transit (Fully Elevated) Line – RM75-100mil per km. Capacity: 4,000 to 6,000 passengers per hour in each direction (based on 65 passengers per bus).

Monorail Line – RM75–85mil per km. Capacity: 5,000 to 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction (based on 200 passengers per train).

LRT / MRT Line – RM175–200mil per km. Capacity: 20,000 to 40,000 passengers per hour in each direction (based on 200 passengers per train).

Compare that to the average highway lane, which can move approximately 900 to 1,200 cars per hour. If we generously assume the Kidex highway’s two lanes can move 2,000 cars per hour in each direction and the average car has 1.5 persons in it (though most do not), we see that the highway can barely move around 3,000 people per hour in each direction. Not much value for money.

There is certainly a case to implement one of the public transport models advocated by Transit as our own government agency Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has laid out policies on the need to increase our public transport ridership levels versus private vehicle demand.

This reduces the number of cars on our roads and even reduces the need for highways. Kidex goes against the Federal Government policy.

Not only is Kidex taking up precious space that could be a corridor for public transport infrastructure, it will render many of the properties situated along its corridor unliveable with noise and dust pollution.

Table 6.11 and 6.12 of the Preliminary EIA report shows that the noise pollution generated by vehicles using Kidex will be slightly above the permissible level at 15m away. This is apparently acceptable because existing noise pollution levels without the highway is the same. It goes against acceptable Environment Department standards on noise pollution.

However, the highway alignment is between five and 10 metres away from numerous residential homes, hospitals and commercial properties. That means the noise pollution is much higher than what the data shows.

In summary, SNTK wish to point out that Kidex is not a well thought out solution for traffic congestion as shown by their reports and studies.

These reports were handed to SNTK on the instructions of Works Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof. SNTK, in turn, made these reports available for public scrutiny at www.facebook.com/groups/saynotokidex/permalink/1525437817674510/

SNTK GROUP

Petaling Jaya

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Opinion , Say No To Kidex , Mak Khuin Weng

   

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