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Finding best way to ease traffic woes
Published on: Thursday, March 28, 2024
By: Sidney Skinner
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Finding best way to ease traffic woes
PWD Traffic section and Penampang branch staff have a closer looks at the plans for the road near the RTD roundabout.
THE Public Works Department (PWD) is in the midst of deliberating over how best to ease the traffic woes at the roundabout near the Road Transport Department (RTD) headquarters in Penampang, and is also keeping tabs on the condition of the main road used to access the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA).

This follows feedback from a Penampang motorist and another from Likas about the poor experience which they separately had on Jalan Bundusan and at the Jalan Putatan-Jalan Lintas intersection near the KKIA. 

The former spoke out about the bad jam which formed because three lanes of vehicles had to merge into two at the roundabout. 

He hoped the Department would consider modifying the design of the existing roundabout to ease the congestion at this roundabout and others on the stretch.

The latter, on the other hand, spoke out about the potential accident risk caused by the faded and missing traffic lines on the busy T-intersection leading to the Airport.

Both individuals provided Hotline with the pertinent information which was forwarded to the agency.

PWD personnel monitor the flow of traffic at the intersection near the KKIA

A PWD spokesman said staff with its Traffic Section monitored the movement of vehicles at the road near the RTD roundabout and the KKIA intersection during separate inspections of earlier this month.

Staff with the Department’s Penampang branch also participated in the former inspection, according to him.

He explained that Jalan Bundusan was considered a duel carriageway and, as such, meant for two dedicated lanes of traffic.

“The ‘third’ lane is not a true one,” he said. “It is supposed to be a ‘service lane’ to cater for vehicles entering to and exiting from the smaller junctions along the road.”

He admitted that the agency was aware of the congestion problem at the roundabout.

“However, adding another lane is not the answer. We are toying with the idea of changing the location of the roundabout to better serve the road network here.

“Another idea we are studying is the possibility of creating a new connection to Jalan Minintod to ease the jam.”

In the case of the KKIA intersection, the spokesman said Traffic section staff confirmed that the demarcations needed to be restored.

“Our peers at the Department’s City office were apprised of these findings,” he said.

He said a government concessionaire had been tasked with maintaining the roads at the intersection

“We were made to understand that this company had been asked to remark the surface of these stretches. This will be done to ensure that drivers can move safely and efficiently through the intersection.”

GARY of Penampang said traffic generally banked up for quite a distance along the sections of Jalan Bundusan approaching the RTD roundabout.

“This jam is especially nerve-wracking during the peak hours before offices open and after they close for the day,” he said.

He attributed this problem to the dimensions of the present roundabout.

“The existing design is based on the concept of a ‘bottleneck roundabout’ which sees three lanes narrowing into two at the roundabout.”

He said the other roundabout – near the hillock on the same stretch where a hypermart was operating – also made use of a similar concept.

“In my opinion, this ‘bottleneck’ design is unsuitable for Jalan Bundusan. 

“There are numerous residential properties – including apartments and condominiums – not to mention multi-storey commercial buildings, sited off this stretch.”

Gary estimated that thousands of vehicles travelled up and down Jalan Bundusan every day, making it one of the busiest and most congested roads in Kota Kinabalu, if not Sabah.

“I cannot shake the feeling that the bad jams are linked to the roundabouts.  I shared my theory with some local politicians who attended a dialogue session at one of the apartments here but nothing came of my effort.”

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