The government needs to address the growing traffic congestion problem now, without waiting

We don’t know if you noticed, but traffic in the Klang Valley seems to have gotten worse in the last few weeks, especially after the Hari Roy period. More jams are being seen across the city, not just during peak hours. Former Transport Minister Anthony Locke also noted this and said that the government needs to address this issue immediately. Malay Mail Report

Speaking to reporters at a news conference, he said traffic doubled in 2019 compared to the pre-epidemic period because more people returned to work. “From the news reports, according to the TomTom Traffic Index, traffic congestion has been worse in the capital during the morning and evening peak hours in the last seven days than before the Covid-19 epidemic,” he said.

The TomTom Traffic Index records urban traffic congestion in more than 400 cities worldwide using data recorded by the TomTom navigation device, the vehicle’s in-dash system, and the company’s mobile application. Anonymous data is shared publicly and allows hourly data to be viewed in real-time. Data available for the last 48 hours or seven days can be compared with the 2019 and 2021 levels.

People added that the jams were not just limited to a certain period of time, as would be expected. “Previously, we only felt traffic jams during peak hours, but now there are traffic jams even during off-peak hours, for example, at 3pm,” he said.

This, he explained, is affecting the behavior of motorists. “More accidents are happening every day now. Although I don’t have the exact figures, if you drive you can understand the road conditions and how people behave on the road,” he said.

People added that this is not only happening in Klang Valley, but also elsewhere. Using Seremban as an example, he said that during a recent trip to Seremban he encountered similar traffic jams, taking only two hours to travel despite the distance being only 60 kilometers.

“What’s going on? The government has to go deeper into it. Malaysians can’t wait any longer. Don’t wait for the study to end, just get down to the ground and try to solve the problems from there,” he said.

People say that tackling the problem should not be left to the Ministry of Transport alone, noting that other ministries should also look at how they can work together to solve the growing problem. “The Ministry of Transport can work with the Federal Territory Ministry to reduce traffic congestion in the city center of Kuala Lumpur. This is just an example, but it should be done immediately, “he explained.

Earlier this week, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) said it would conduct a detailed study on how to reduce traffic congestion in the city, which is becoming increasingly critical. The council said it would focus on some areas, including traffic light adjustment and parking management, which have hampered traffic flow.

People say that public transport also has problems. After deciding to launch it earlier today, he said the service is not as smooth as he thought. “It’s when I realize that Malaysians are under pressure even when they choose public transport,” he said.

In posts on social media last week, motorists lamented their increasing traffic situation during commuting to and from work. They said the situation was forcing many to leave home for work first and then go home later, as the traffic jams in the evening now lasted till 8 pm and beyond, which would ultimately affect one’s mental health.

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