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Traffic demarcations being planned for four KB roundabouts
Published on: Wednesday, January 03, 2024
By: Sidney Skinner
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Traffic demarcations being planned for four KB roundabouts
PWD staff monitor the movement of vehicles around one of the four roundabouts in Kota Belud.
THE Public Works Department (PWD) plans to have the necessary traffic demarcations put in place around four roundabouts in Kota Belud and is keeping tabs on the movement of vehicles around those sections of the main road in Telipok which are being widened as part of the Pan Borneo project.

This action was prompted by feedback about the likelihood of drivers colliding with each other at the roundabouts in the first town, as well as the negative impact which the ongoing Pan Borneo work has had on the livelihood of several business owners at the second.

The Kota Belud and Telipok residents, who contacted Hotline, hoped that the Department would do more to respectively look after the well-being of drivers and shore-up the welfare of the public at these locations.

The Department will have ‘white lines’ painted on the surface of the road near roundabouts like this one near Kg Baru.

Their concerns were separately forwarded to the agency.

Site-inspections were made of the affected areas, shortly after the PWD learned about their grievances.

A Department spokeswoman said a check of its records revealed that the roundabouts – in the town centres and near Kg Baru, as well as near the district mosque and town field – were under its jurisdiction.

She said the agency’s staff monitored the traffic flow around these assets on Jalan Kota Belud Town, Jalan Hasbollah, Jalan Masjid and Jalan Kota Belud-Ranau shortly after it was contacted by the media.

Bad jams, like this one in Telipok, have occurred in recent months due to the Pan Borneo work.

“We intend to have the road markings painted to indicate the width of the lanes at the roundabouts,” she said.

“Signs will also be put up to alert drivers about the traffic decorum which should be observed in these areas.”

She said the agency would try to accord priority to having this done as soon as possible.

“We have included the plan for the roundabout improvements in our list of proposed works to be carried out in 2024.”

BERT of Kota Belud said many motorists had a tendency to access the roundabouts without first taking stock of the movement of the other vehicles in their path.

“They do not come to a halt, to look left and right, prior to entering the lanes which circle the roundabouts,” he said.

“Their recklessness creates a potential danger to the other road-users.” 

He urged the local authorities to take steps to mitigate these hazards and implement safety measures to prevent potential accidents from taking place there.

“They should look into having white lines put in place on the surface of the road and consider installing ‘Awas (Caution)’, ‘Roundabout-ahead’ and ‘Beri Jalan (Give Way)’ signs on the verge in these areas.”  

The numerous diversions and lane restrictions have discouraged many customers from patronising numerous shops in Telipok.

Where the Pan Borneo project in the Telipok area was concerned, a spokesman said the PWD was endeavouring to minimise the inconvenience which arose because of the road work.

“In most areas, six lanes are available for drivers to use which has defused the congestion in these parts of Jalan Tuaran,” he said.

“The bottleneck which used to form in the Tobobon area has eased substantially.”

The spokesman explained that the portion of the Pan Borneo highway, which involved the State Capital, extended from Berungis all the way to the Ketiau area of Putatan.

“We had initially hoped to finish sealing this span, from one end to the other, by the end of the year.

“But because many of the public utilities – especially the electricity transmission lines – have yet to be moved away, we have been forced to push the prospective completion-date of the project to early 2025.”

REGEA of Telipok said businesses between Tobobon and the Tuaran roundabout, had been severely impacted by the Pan Borneo work, with many closing down or being auctioned off. 

He theorised that this was due to the numerous diversions, lane restrictions into business clusters or other traffic disruptions related to the project, which had likely discouraged a sizeable number of customers from patronising these premises.

“This torturous situation has unfolded over the past four to five years,” he said. “The innocent victims being business owners and road users.”

He said the latter included those working at the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP), including employees at two much publicised overseas factories, as well as students from three schools and a polytechnic.

“Can you imagine, even ambulances with the Tuaran Hospital have to race through the traffic chaos?”

Despite repeated inquiries to the PWD about when work on the highway would be done, Regea said the response from the authority had been very predictable: “Please be calm, please be patient”.

“The Department should be evaluated by the same road users and business owners for an honest and realistic performance review.

“Only then will its staff be on their toes and the efficiency of their work be truly reflected. Anything else would be self-serving conjecture.”

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