PETALING JAYA: The concessionaire for the proposed PJD Link says the project will help alleviate the crippling traffic congestion in Petaling Jaya for the benefit of its residents.
“Currently, LDP is the only highway that runs through the north and south of Petaling Jaya, and it is operating beyond its designed capacity at peak hours,” PJD Link CEO Amrish Hari Narayanan said in an interview with FMT.
He said PJD Link will not only be connected to the LDP but also the Federal, Bukit Jalil, NPE, Kesas and SPRINT highways, helping to draw traffic load from them.
He was responding to claims that the PJD Link would do little to help alleviate traffic congestion.
He said the Federal, NKVE and SPRINT highways are already operating beyond capacity and classified as “Level of Service F” roads, characterised by unpredictable and constant stop-start movements with long waiting lines at multiple points.
This scenario has led to road users relying on apps like Waze and Google Maps to find alternative routes through inner and neighbourhood roads in PJ to beat traffic congestion.
“PJD Link will reduce congestion on major highways, making the use of these inner and neighbourhood roads unnecessary,” he said.
There has been renewed debate over the 25.4km PJD Link after works minister Alexander Nanta Linggi provided the Dewan Rakyat with an update on the project, categorised as a “necessary infrastructure” under the Highway Network Development Plan.
Critics of PJD Link argue that the highway’s ramps would create bottlenecks and contribute to more carbon emissions being released into the environment. There are also complaints over the lack of ramps leading to public transport stations.
On the carbon emissions, Amrish said it will allow vehicles to reach their destinations at “optimum fuel burning speeds”, and that this reduces fuel consumption and emissions.
He also said PJD Link would actually help solve first and last-mile connectivity as ramps will provide connection via existing roads to five major railway lines, namely LRT3, MRT1, LRT Kelana Jaya, KTM Komuter and LRT Sri Petaling.
“We will engage relevant government agencies to provide shuttle services, preferably minibuses that can easily ferry passengers to the stations. PJD Link provides a quicker route for such services,” he said.
According to Amrish, PJD Link’s 21 ramps will be constructed to join traffic on slower lanes so as to avoid disrupting traffic flow on fast lanes.
“The design is also analysed by traffic impact assessment consultants to ensure no bottlenecks are caused as a direct result of the ramps,” he said.
He said 80% of the highway will be built on existing road medians to ensure that it does not take up space on existing roads.
Amrish said the traffic, social and environmental impact assessments had been submitted to the relevant government agencies in March.