The Main Problem with Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is the largest city in Malaysia with a population of around 1.6 million people. With the Petronas Twin Towers and the KL Tower dominating its skyline, Kuala Lumpur is a city that all Malaysians should be proud of.
Located in a huge valley known as the Klang valley, which explains the flash floods and mud slides, Kuala Lumpur is rich in terms of both natural elements (moutains and trees) and urban elements (high rise buildings).
Minus the blazing temperature we endure in the day, the snatch thieves, and construction noise, Kuala Lumpur is paradise!
The Real Problem!
In Kuala Lumpur, nothing gets on your nerves more than traffic jams and rude drivers (they come together, buy one free one)! The reason? Our transportation system is an utter failure!
The main way to travel from one destination to another in Kuala Lumpur is by driving. While the entire city is well connected with highways and bridges, the planning and design of Kuala Lumpur’s road network betrays third-class management.
- Roads that were initially three-laned becomes two lanes in a blink of an eye.
- Places that drivers can make U-turns are not specified (resulting in people doing U-turns everywhere, including on top of road dividers, I had a personal experience in a rented taxi).
- Last minute road signs cause you to turn into the wrong junctions (not to mention road signs block by trees and other obstacles)
- Bottlenecks are everywhere! There are places where even four or five roads converge into the main road.
- The list goes on! You name some!
Compounding the traffic problem is Kuala Lumpur’s public transport system. To say that Malaysia lacks a public transport system is a lie. In fact, we have an overload of companies in the industry! We have a variety of transport modes from buses, rails and taxis. The rail system alone has the RapidKL Rail, KL Monorail and the KTM Komuter not to mention the Star and Putra LRT rails.
The problem in Kuala Lumpur is not the lack of a public transportation system. The real problem is the planning and management of the system! Many of the LRT stations are located in the middle of no where (some stations make losses). To add to that, bus stops are everywhere (except where they should be)! Overhead bridges on the other hand are build at wrong locations and poorly maintained.
All in all, there is no incentive for Malaysians to use public transport (except to escape burning fuel). While this might not have been such a serious problem in the past, Kuala Lumpur’s booming population is now exceeding the maximum capacity of our road networks.
We need to correct this flaw in Kuala Lumpur! This time around, plan first and build later! A city isn’t built out of Lego that can be dismantled and rebuilt at will! Prevention is better than cure!
While Malaysians love Kuala Lumpur, I am not so sure that our transportation system loves us!