Speeding buses the cause of Brickfields’ traffic chaos

People in Brickfields may have different opinions on the new bus and taxi designated lane, but most of them agree that the buses in the area ought to slow down.

The designated public transport lane, which runs in contra-flow on Jalan Tun Sambathan, has recorded five accidents in less than three days after its implementation.

“The bus lane is narrow but the buses are going at full speed,” says stall operator R. Kumar.

“Yesterday I was stopping my bike by the side of the road and a bus just flew past. I got shocked,” he told Komunitikini.

“They won’t even stop when the traffic lights turn red,” he added.

He is urging authorities to deploy enforcement official at the junction in front of elephant fountain (Jalan Tun Sambathan), with hopes that the ‘traffic chaos’ will cease.

Restaurant operator Rose says she witnessed an accident in which a bus ran into a motorcycle,  which was trying to cross the bus lane to reach a car park yesterday.

“(The bus drivers) should slow down; they are becoming the cause of accidents,” she chided.

Factory worker Cheng Kui Fong also agrees that accidents are caused by reckless motorists.

“They already know this is a busy road, they should not drive so fast,” he said when met by Komunitikini.

“Don’t treat this road as a highway,” he later added.

Bus lane creates less congestion but no parking

He however commended the effort to add a designated bus lane, saying that it adds to the convenience of bus passengers such as himself.

“Before the designated lane was established, we had to go all the way to the bus stop in front of the YMCA building,” he said.

The authorities have built two additional bus stops along the 1km Jalan Tun Sambathan, a stark contrast of having only one bus stop at the YMCA before the designated lane began operation.

Kumar also praised the new traffic system, which he says has the potential to reduce traffic congestion in the area, while N. Radha said taking bus is so much easier now.

However, Rose disagreed, as she says the new bus lane requires additional traffic lights to manage the flow, which she stresses is not the answer to manage traffic congestion.

“It is still congested, the authorities should realize not everyone is using the bus, there are a lot more who use the monorail and LRT,” she said.

She also bemoaned that her business has dropped by more than 50 percent.

“Because nobody can find parking now, business has taken a hit” she said, referring to the parking spaces along Jalan Tun Sambathan which are now utilised by the lane.

Saloon operator S. Shanmugan (right, with watch) said his business, too, has suffered a 30 percent drop.

“They extended the walkway, built some arches and wasted the space with no function. The space could be used as parking space,” he pointed out.

Yesterday, Harian Metro reported that five accidents have occurred in less than 48 hours after the designated lane was implemented.