Brickfields folks unimpressed by contra-flow bus lane

Brickfields folks today rubbished the plan by Federal Territories Minister Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin to introduce a new contra-flow bus lane along Jalan Tun Sambathan, saying it will do more harm than good.

They were strongly against the idea of acquiring parking bays along Jalan Tun Sambathan to make the bus lane, which they claimed will inflict severe impact on business operators and pedestrians.

Some 20 of them staged a picket near Jalan Tun Sambathan T-junction today, voicing their objections against the new plan.

“As shop operator we need space to load and unload our goods, and our customers need parking space,” said Brickfields Business Community Society (BBCS) secretary A. Karuppiah.

“You can’t be asking them to pay RM5 to park at the elevated parking to buy RM5 flower,” said the florist (right).

Komunitikini was told that the parking bays were only alienated in May 2011, despite switching to the one-way traffic system in Brickfields since May last year.

Merchants said their brisk business would only last for three months if the Ministry insist to go ahead with the contra-flow bus lane.

“How is the plan going to benefit locals? Locals are using cars, they don’t take buses to come to Brickfields,” Karuppiah said.

“Only for MRCB interests”

Pantai MP Nurul Izzah, who attended the picket, said the authorities overlooked the fact that pedestrians and students are also part of the traffic.

“By taking away car parks to make the bus lane, it will make the road more difficult to cross,”

“Students, pedestrians, visually-impaired and tourists are all traffic and they need to have access to the road,” she said.

“It’s not the people who ask for the changes, now they have to suffer,” she (left) added.

The PKR vice president also said the authorities are only focusing on the need of KL Sentral.

“They are doing this because MRCB and other companies have interests in it,” she claimed, referring to the KL Sentral developer Malaysian Resource Corporation Berhad.

According to The Star report, the contra-flow bus lane will run through  Jalan Tun Sambanthan main road (from Esso/Public Bank) and cut off to Jalan Travers at the Little India Fountain and head for Seputeh through Jalan Tun Sambanthan (in front of the Sri Paandi restaurant).

The local folks, on the other hand, asked the authorities to abandon the bus lane idea, instead turning Jalan Tun Sambathan main road (from Esso/Public Bank) to a two-way road.

“Then traffic going to Bangsar will not need to go through Jalan Abdul Samad and Jalan Tun Sambathan stretch road (Sri Paandi restaurant),” said Karuppiah.

The plan will reduce 80 percent of the traffic in Brickfields, he added.