Tuesday, November 24

Residents doubt traffic lights can solve traffic woes

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KOTA SAMARAHAN: The government’s plan to tackle traffic congestion along the Stutong to Kuching-Samarahan Expressway stretch by turning five roundabouts into signalled interchanges using the smart traffic light system has been met with scepticism by some residents here.

The residents told The Borneo Post that they feel the move is not a long-term solution to the problem compared to building alternative roads or even flyovers.

Donny William Maurice

One of them, Donny William Maurice who lives near the Bukit Berangan area, said a road connecting the expressway to Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) would be a much better way to resolve the daily traffic congestion.

“Replacing the roundabouts with smart traffic light system will not change anything because I think it is more of a temporary solution.

“I feel the best solution to tackle road congestion along the Stutong to Kuching-Samarahan Expressway stretch is build an alternative road, perhaps connecting BCCK to the expressway,” he said when interviewed yesterday, adding this will ensure the flow of traffic is not concentrated along a single route.

State Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin told a press conference last week after chairing the inaugural meeting of the State Public Transport Committee, that the construction of the traffic lights would take place this year and is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

The five roundabouts are along Jalan Setia Raja-Samarahan (near Tabuan Tranquility), Stutong-Samarahan (Giant), ILK/LKIM interchange, Sarawak Heart Centre-Samarahan interchange, and Unimas-Samarahan interchange.

Roystein Emmor

Another daily commuter, Roystein Emmor, said he felt the best solution to the traffic congestion issue was to build flyovers.

“I believe that once flyovers are built over the roundabouts, the traffic in the area will be a lot smoother during the peak hours.

“With more people living in Samarahan now and most families owning more than one car, I doubt having traffic lights will solve the congestion here,” said the Uni Garden resident.

Philomena Dexclyn Siar

For Philomena Dexclyn Siar, who also lives at Uni Garden, she opined that having signalled interchanges may have the reverse intended effect in that the traffic congestion becomes worse.

“Us road users just want a smooth journey from Kota Samarahan to Kuching city and vice versa, without having to stop five times along one stretch. This only slows our journey,” she said.