FOR SMOOTHER FLOW: Traffic lights will help ease traffic congestion
PETALING JAYA: FOLLOWING the removal of the iconic Rothmans roundabout last year, a second roundabout in the city is set to make way for traffic lights. The Jalan Othman roundabout that has been around for over 40 years will have traffic lights at its crossroads next year.
Petaling Jaya City Council engineering head Cheremi Tarman said removal works are expected to begin early next year. He said removing the roundabout and putting up traffic lights are expected to ease one-third of the traffic congestion. “More than 4,000 cars use the roads during rush hour in the morning while some 5,000 vehicles are on the road during peak hours in the evenings.
“Upon its removal, congestion on roads which is classified as grade F or at a standstill, is expected to ease to a grade D as being tolerable or slowing to a stop," said Cheremi.
He added that the project which cost RM10 million was approved this year based on a proposal drafted after consulting residents and motorists a few years ago.
The council has also hired a consultant to undertake a traffic assessment study which is due to be completed by September.
He said the council sent letters to utility companies last month to identify their cables and relocate their cables by year-end.
"They have to come back to us by next month. Whether they do so or not, we will open the tender latest by the end of the year. We can't stall this project."
He said the council would proceed with works with or without the involvement of the companies to prevent delays it had experienced during the conversion of the Rothmans roundabout into a traffic light junction.
He said the Jalan Templer stretches from the NPE to the roundabout and the lanes heading to the NPE from the roundabout will be widened slightly.
"If there is additional space, we will put in additional lanes but looking at the current road plans, there seems to be no space," he added.
A Streets check during evening rush hour showed the roundabout and roads leading to it was chock-a-block.
The Jalan Gasing stretch from the Lotus Family Restaurant and Taman Petaling that leads to the roundabout was also congested. There was also a massive congestion leading to the roundabout from Jalan Templer and Jalan Othman.
Traffic from these three roads formed a bottleneck before the turn off into Jalan Templer opposite the BHP petrol station. This stretch connects to the NPE, leading to Jalan Klang Lama as well as Kuala Lumpur and Puchong.
For the past few years, traffic police redirected vehicles beyond the Jalan Othman entry into the roundabout. Traffic was directed to turn into Jalan Templer and make a U turn at Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Aziz before heading back to the roundabout.
This practice stopped two months ago. However, police are still stationed at the roundabout to ensure motorists do not cut queue. The exit on the NPE turning into Jalan Templer which leads to the roundabout is blocked off in the evening.
Motorists travelling from Kuala Lumpur and Jalan Klang Lama are redirected to travel on the NPE U-turn under the flyover near Kampung Medan before turning back towards Bangunan Peladang and entering the roundabout by Jalan Templer.
Cheremi also said the council was studying the feasibility of using the one-way flyover with two lanes which bypasses the roundabout near the BHP petrol station.
The one-way flyover leads to the Lotus Family Restaurant and the Federal Highway.