END OF CRAWL: Jalan Kelawei and Jalan Burma to become one-way streets
MOTORISTS caught in the daily traffic crawl along the busy Jalan Kelawei and Jalan Burma here are set to enjoy a smoother ride when both roads become one-way streets next year.
Motorists heading towards Tanjung Bungah and Batu Ferringhi can use Jalan Kelawei while those heading to George Town will have to head for Jalan Burma.
The Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) confirmed that the two roads will be converted into one-way streets as part of an initiative to ease worsening daily traffic congestions on the island.
The conversion, as part of the traffic dispersal system under the Penang Transport Masterplan undertaken by MPPP, will be a quantum leap in efforts to minimise perennial traffic chaos here.
MPPP Infrastructure and Traffic Management committee alternate chairman Muhammad Sabri Md Osman said its members would iron out details on the road conversions after gathering public feedback.
“One-way street conversion is the only way to improve the traffic flow as most roads on the island are not suitable for further widening.
“Many trees, shops and houses are located along the two roads so it is unwise to tamper with the existing structures.
“The bumper-to-bumper traffic situation is long overdue at both roads and we will fine-tune the conversion requests in line with public demand,” Sabri said.
He added trial runs would be observed prior to permanent one-way street conversions.
Sabri also said there was an urgent need to address an influx of vehicles along Jalan Kelawei as the Gurney Paragon Mall was slated to open for business next year.
When asked on the possibility of the Gurney Drive seafronting road to be rerouted into one-way street to complement the traffic dispersal system, MPPP engineering department director Addnan Mohd Razali said the conversion was not feasible.
“A section of Gurney Drive next to the shopping mall has two single vehicle lanes and this hampers the traffic configuration.
“The shady trees along the middle road kerb make it difficult to turn the venue into a one-lane system,” he said.
Two options are available under the traffic dispersal system, with the first recommending that a section of Jalan Burma and the entire Jalan Kelawai be converted into one-way streets.
Certain sections in Jalan Burma have already been converted into one-way streets.
The second option involved turning Gurney Drive and Jalan Kelawei into one-way streets.