TRANSIT took note of this article in The Star Metro, in which residents of Bandar Kinrara 3 in Puchong expressed their concern over the LRT routing through their area.
Residents worried about LRT impact (The Star)
26 February 2011
RESIDENTS of Bandar Kinrara 3 in Puchong, who were eagerly anticipating the arrival of the LRT in their area are shocked to know that the final rail alignment will see the clearing of trees in a small buffer zone separating their homes from the Bukit Jalil Highway.
Bandar Kinrara 3 pro tem committee vice-chairman Kenny Tan Jui Thong said said the residents only came to know when the surveyors placed the rail boundary markers. About 100 houses will be directly affected because their homes face the buffer zone.
“It is not only the rail alignment that will be built in the buffer zone but also the station. This will increase the number of outsiders coming into the area and we are worried for our safety,” Tan said.
He added that the residents were worried that building a station near their residential area would cause indiscriminate parking and traffic congestion.
“Noise pollution will also be a big problem if the LRT is built close to our homes,” Tan said, adding that they have approached former Puchong MP Datuk Loo Yeng Peng who has been taking part in discussions on the issue.
[TRANSIT: It sounds like the standard compendium of LRT-related problems – one would think that SPAD and Prasarana would have found a way to resolve these issues (or answer these allegations) by now]
At a meeting with LRT developer Prasarana Bhd yesterday, the residents proposed an alternative route for the line to the company’s group managing director, Shahril Mokhtar,
“In Bandar Kinrara 2, the rail alignment follows the middle of the highway which we believe should be followed when the LRT enters Bandar Kinrara 3,” Tan said, adding that the meeting was successful because they felt their views were heard and taken into consideration.
He also said they were told Prasarana would be studying the alternative routes and its feasibility and get back to them within three to four weeks.
[TRANSIT: It’s really a shame that the studying of alternative routes is taking place now, nearly a year after the LRT was supposed to start operations, and nearly 1.5 years after the public display began!]
Committee secretary Ye Choh Wah said discussions were held two years ago regarding the LRT.
“At that point, the details were still sketchy and we assumed from maps shown to us that the rail alignment would be in the middle of the highway,” he said.
[TRANSIT: This is exactly the problem – issues are not resolved because details are sketchy because the planning is rushed and the public consultation is incomplete.]
Loo said the residents were not against the building of the LRT but felt there was a better route for the rail alignment.
“The traffic congestion in the area is becoming worse and the project will help ease this problem. I hope the company will listen to the people’s views,” Loo said.
He added that the station was part of the 13 along a 17km route that would be connected to the Kelana line.
We chose to post this article and discussion topic not to complain about Prasarana (although sadly, some staff at Prasarana still feel that we are too critical of them) but to express our concern that the lessons of rail planning and public consultation are still not being learned by SPAD and Prasarana, the government asset-owner and regulator which were supposed to save us from terrible public transport!
It’s time to admit that our public consultation process is deeply flawed and in need of vast improvements. And it is time to admit that our public transport planning process is too politically-directed (to be honest, this is not just a Malaysian thing) which results in incomplete planning and ineffective planning.
Some of the issues that are being raised here should have been ironed out a long time ago, before the public display even began. But what we were told then was that Prasarana was ready to start the LRT extensions in less than 7 months.
We at TRANSIT appreciate a positive attitude, but not at the expense of good, solid, reliable public transport planning.
We can only hope that SPAD and Prasarana will learn from the LRT extension process and the current MRT proposal and improve so that these issues are not repeated.
We are not expecting everyone to be satisfied – but the effort needs to be made on the part of Prasarana & SPAD.