TRANSIT took note of some recent articles on the LRT extension projects which state that the local governments have more or less agreed to the Kelana Jaya and Ampang LRT extensions.
However, TRANSIT notes that some of the issues regarding the LRT extension routes continue to crop up – either they were not properly resolved, or certain people are just not happy with the resolution.
As always, TRANSIT reminds our readers that there are many sides to every story. In this case, look for at least 4 sides.
- Proposed Kelana Jaya LRT extension 80 per cent approved (NST, 28 June 2011)
- Putra Heights and Taman Subang Alam stations being assessed for safety (The Star, 28 June 2011)
You can also see an image of the print version of the article in The Star scanned here.
OK, once again we see the same new spun different ways just by looking at the headline.
To TRANSIT the big issue has always been the method of public consultation for public transport projects, and the laws behind them. We have seen that a strong push for an LRT extension may not result in actual results because in the rush to “get started” people’s views are ignored.
Back in September 2009, when the public display period began, Idrose Mohamed (the MD of Prasarana at the time) said that the LRT extensions could start as early as spring 2010. We admired his enthusiasm and did not wish to correct him, but we thought at the time that such a quick start was unlikely. And now here we are nearly 2 years later and only the most basic LRT works have started and there are issues that still have not been resolved.
- Bandar Kinrara 3 residents says no to LRT extension (The Star, 18 July 2011)
- Residents oppose LRT station at their doorsteps (Malay Mail, 20 July 2011)
First of all, do you notice how the same “news” can be spun just by the editor’s choice of headline? It keeps on happening, so we had to bring it up again.
Ok, to be fair to the residents, they are not against the LRT extension but rather the location of proposed station 05 on the Ampang LRT extension. Their comments run the gamut of suggestions from what can be called NIMBY (not-in-my-back-yard)-ism to reasonable questions:
- “An LRT station will contribute to traffic congestion as well as health and safety problems, such as noise and air pollution.
- “Since the station does not have a carpark, we foresee cars parking along the road.
- “Imagine people parking their cars here and taking the LRT to watch the football match in Bukit Jalil,” she said.
- “We are also worried that criminal activities might increase.”
- cautioned against a drop in property value once the station, which could be 10-storey tall was built.
- “There will be illegal hawkers and if not maintained properly, the station will be littered with rubbish and illegal banners,” she said.
- asked if there is a need for “so many stations in Bandar Kinrara?” as “The distance between Station 05 and Station 04 in Bandar Kinrara 2 is only 800m.”
Are their complaints (above) NIMBYism or feedback? We invite you to decide (and please, share your comments in the Comments section below!)
But please consider this: Nearly 2 years from the date that the public display begin, the issues with the LRT extensions have not been resolved. The residents of BK3 do not appear to be asking for much, just that the LRT be shifted into the middle of the road median and stations be combined.
In contrast, when some residents of Taman Tun Dr. Ismail objected to the location of the proposed TTDI station as well as two stations at Section 16 & Section 17, the issue was resolved within 1 month of the end of the public display.
In other words, the public display begin in mid-February and ended in mid-May 2011, and by the end of June the location of the TTDI station had been moved down to a site near the Caltex petrol station, while the Section 16 & 17 stations were combined into a single station.
TRANSIT’s big question is this: Why is there a difference here in the public consultation & feedback that is taking place for the MRT project and the LRT extension projects? After all, they are being handled by the same government agencies (SPAD & Prasarana). We think that this seemingly-inconsistent approach to public consultation is just another one of those little things that turns people away from public transport.
Now, perhaps we do not know the whole story – but we do know that public consultation & feedback are important – and so is consistency & fair treatment.