Traffic begone, you

Jalan Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur is notorious for traffic congestion. It is a long stretch of road that roughly runs the perimeter of the city from the south to the north through the eastern side. The Kuala Lumpur General Hospital which sits right beside the major road is unhappy with the traffic, stating that it prevents its ambulances from reacting in timely manner. Lately however, traffic has improved at one stretch from Flat Pekeliling to Putra LRT station. My question is, how does the local authority solve the traffic woe there?

That particular point is the converging and the diverging points of two major roads. From Jalan Tun Razak, one may want to go straight, away from the city (Damansara, Shah Alam or really, northern Malaysia) or to the left, into the city (PWTC, Putra Place, Bank Negara, Dataran Merdaka). Another street which I can’t recall the name joins Jalan Tun Razak temporarily from the left. Those that come from this particular road — farther back is a roundabout called Bulatan Pahang, probably comparable to the busy roundabout that circles the Arc de Triomphe in Paris — one may have the same choice too. The traffic is caused by those on Jalan Tun Razak wanting to go to the left, into the city and those on that other road wanting to go to the right, out of the city. I remember someone called the cause of the ugly traffic as the weaving effect. This slows traffic tremendously and affecting those that just want to go straight and be done with it.

The solution introduced by the local authority is simple: minimize the weaving effect. Barriers have been placed along the meeting place of the two roads to discourage motorists from going everywhere and nowhere. So, instead of giving motorists the options to slow everybody down, now, everybody is encouraged to just go straight.

Those that usually used Jalan Tun Razak to get into the city at this particular point now has to get out of Jalan Tun Razak before the road flies into the sky, stay close to the ground and get into Bulatan Pahang.

Nevertheless, while Jalan Tun Razak on this particular stretch has been smooth lately, the situation on the other road becomes a nightmare.

As for me, I’m just happy. Now, I could just get to my office in KL less than 20 minutes!

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