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Bus & taxi lanes in Brickfields beginning August 20

TRANSIT took note of this article in the Malay Mail which announces that bus & taxi lanes will be introduced to Jalan Tun Sambanthan in Brickfields as of August 20.

This is in response to complaints about increasing congestion and slow driving in Brickfields as a result of the 1-way traffic flow system which was introduced earlier.

Although the government claims that the 1-way system improved traffic flow and reduced congestion, TRANSIT notes that it has also encouraged double parking on both sides of the road during some periods of the day, causing traffic mayhem which is negatively affecting bus services.

Double parking on both sides of Jalan Tun Sambanthan affects private vehicles and public transport users. Image courtesy of the Malay Mail.

Special lane for buses, taxis in Jalan Tun Sambanthan beginning Aug 20 (Malay Mail)
Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR: The Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Ministry will create a special lane for buses and taxis in Jalan Tun Sambanthan heading to Bangsar and Seputeh, while maintaining Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad as one-way street starting on Aug 20.

Its minister, Senator Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said the move was hoped to provide more comfort to the residents, traders and road users in Brickfields who have been suffering traffic congestion and noise pollution due to ongoing work on a traffic dispersal system there which began in October last year.

“The main problem faced by road users and residents is traffic congestion and noise pollution especially in Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad as the road is the main road for buses heading to Seputeh and Bangsar,” he said in a statement here today.

He said since Aug 3, 2010, the traffic congestion eased after the road was turned into a one-way street and thus, the ministry and City Hall were planning to maintain the one-way traffic flow.

“However, if there is a need to turn Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad back to a two-way street, it will be studied and reviewed,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said the creation of a special lane for buses and taxis in Jalan Tun Sambanthan heading to Taman Seputeh or Jalan Travers in Bangsar would also help in diverting the buses from entering Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad.

To facilitate pedestrians, especially the blind, Raja Nong Chik said five overhead pedestrian bridges would also be built in Brickfields, with two of them equipped with elevators for the disabled.

“Apart from that, elevated parking lots would also be built in Jalan Tun Sambanthan 1 near the City Hall Sports Club and in Jalan Tun Sambanthan 6 near the Brickfields Post Office,” he added.


TRANSIT notes that when we first learned of the plan to introduce 1-way traffic flow on Jalan Tun Sambanthan we suggested that buses should operate in separate bus lanes on the west (KL Sentral) side of Jalan Tun Sambanthan, (in both directions), creating a “busway” through Brickfields similar to this transit mall in Minneapolis (you can see that the buses are on one side of the street, but in Minneapolis they operate in one direction only. We are proposing something slightly different)

New double, contra-flow bus lanes on Marquette and Second Ave. in Minneapolis. Image courtesy of the City of Minneapolis.

When told that the 1-way street was going ahead we recommended that a contra-flow lane be created on Jalan Tun Sambanthan to be implemented as the second choice.

And why not, considering the number of buses that use Jalan Tun Sambanthan to make their way into and out of KL.

The DBKL and Federal Territories & Urban Wellbeing Ministry need to find solutions to the perpetual Brickfields traffic jams, and one way to do it is to make public transport more efficient and reliable.

Putting the bus lanes on one side of Jalan Tun Sambanthan would increase the flow of buses, and therefore the movement of people. It would also discourage people from parking at the roadside and instead look for paid parking in the parking lots that the government has proposed to construct.

Another suggestion, from M.G.D. of Kuala Lumpur is to charge for parking in Brickfields:

Charge for parking at Little India (The Star)
13 July 2011

LITTLE India in Brickfields is probably one of the few places in Kuala Lumpur business district where legal parking bays are available free of charge.

Unfortunately, due to the close proximity of the Sentral LRT and Monorail stations (which are within walking distance to these parking areas), most of the parking bays are quickly taken up by commuters using the Sentral LRT and Monorail facilities.

It is almost impossible for shoppers and those visiting restaurants in Little India to find parking bays after 8.30am on weekdays.

This phenomenon of legal parking spaces Little India being taken up by commuters can be eased by the authorities charging fees for parking.

There are ample unused parking spaces available adjoining the Sentral station, at reasonable rates.

However, these are not taken up due to the lure of free parking, at Little India.

Charging parking fees in Little India will also cut down on illegal double parking.

Kuala Lumpur

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