Mayor defends Brickfields public transportation lane

Kuala Lumpur mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail yesterday defended the new bus and taxi lane in Brickfields as an effort to heed “residents’ request”, and asked those opposing the bus lane to consult the residents first.

“You want us to close (the bus lane) immediately? Then you have to talk the people who requested to the Minister, who in return pushed us to do it,” he told journalists after a walkabout in Brickfields.

Ahmad Fuad did not name the Minister, but stressed the contra-flow bus lane was the Kuala Lumpur City Council (DBKL)’s idea.

“Before this when we did one-way traffic (in Brickfields), we only planned to reduce the congestion, not to solve it 100 percent,”

“But after we did it some residents protested and said it is not good,”

“I’m not sure how many was them, but their voice was so loud, to the extent that newspapers carried their views,” he said, adding that DBKL was implicated as ignoring their views in the matter.

“Now we have opened the lane, but where are those residents?” he asked, sounding cynical.

3 months trial for the bus lane

The lane, which was implemented since December 3, has reportedly caused five accidents within 48 hours.

The local folks from all walks of life are accusing the buses as the cause of the accidents and have demanded the drivers to slow down.

When asked whether the lane is undergoing a 3-month trial period, Ahmad Fuad said it depends on the public feedback.

“This is a wide issue. If we would like to extend it, we have to put manpower,” he said, referring to the DBKL officials who are deployed to give direction in junctions.

He said he has evaluated the situation, but will take into account public views on the matter.

“If everyone agrees that this is a good idea, we will retain it,” he said.