TRANSIT noted this article in the NST today, mentioning that the first phase of the covered walkways project would be completed by the end of 2010.
Covered walkways at LRT stations ready by year-end
By Nuradzimmah Daim
KUALA LUMPUR: Construction on the elevated and covered pedestrian walkways, which will connect some light-rail and monorail stations (LRT) in the city, are expected to start soon and will be completed by year-end.
The LRT stations are Plaza Rakyat, Sultan Ismail, Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Bandaraya and Pasar Seni, and the Hang Tuah monorail station.
City Hall road transport department director Dr Leong Siew Mun said Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd, which runs the light rail services, had already appointed the contractors for the project which involves an integrated network system of linking pedestrian walkways to LRT and monorail stations.
“The elevated and covered walkways will connect the stations at Plaza Rakyat to the Cahaya Suria Building in Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock; PWTC to Putra bus station; Sultan Ismail to Medan Tuanku monorail station; and Bandaraya to City Hall headquarters in Jalan Raja Laut, and Hang Tuah monorail station to Masjid Al-Bukhary,” he said in presentation at the KL Draft Plan 2020 workshop yesterday.
The walkways provide convenience and connectivity and is in line with the safe city concept.
The project is part of the Federal government’s plan to have an extensive network of pedestrian walkways built by private developers so that all buildings in the city centre would be connected in the future.
Leong also said Petronas had proposed a pedestrian bridge from Hotel Impiana KLCC to Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre including Impiana KLCC to Menara Perak; Kompleks Dayabumi; TA Properties to Matic; and the Ampang Park LRT station to Masjid As-Syakirin KLCC.
Draft plan consultant, AJM Planning and Urban Design Group Sdn Bhd’s managing director Norliza Hashim said a total of 143km interconnected pedestrian network would be achieved in the city centre by 2020.
She said the pedestrian network would be categorised into six groups, namely, the major spine which is from Dataran Merdeka to the Chow Kit monorail station (2.5km), primary pedestrian routes, secondary pedestrian routes, tertiary pedestrian routes, riverside corridor and the heritage trail.
Norliza also pointed out the problems faced by local authorities after the projects were completed including poor maintenance, design failure, poor lighting, and lack of shady trees and security.
The two-day workshop, which ended yesterday, was aimed at explaining the draft plan to residents’ associations.
Among the issues brought up were open spaces, petty traders and hawkers, and landscape and public park maintenance.
We find the proposal for walkways to be relatively interesting and in some cases, quite unnecessary.
At the same time, having been stuck in the rain on more than one occasion while waiting for an extra-long traffic light, we have often wished that we could just cross the intersection easily.
Pedestrian walkways are not necessarily pedestrian-friendly. In fact, they are more of a protective action than anything else. In a way, you could say that they are similar to putting air bags in a car but giving the driver no training to drive properly.
It would be nice if walkways were not needed and the streets were just pedestrian friendly – wide pavements that are unblocked, with proper line of sight and clear signage.
So while we are pleased to know that the walkways are being built, we would rather see more attention being paid to making the pedestrian environment of KL that much more friendly and welcoming.
There are some attractive, walkable areas in KL, but these are literally few, and far-between.
But KL-ites and tourists do keep on walking – and they should be commended for doing so.