Rethink unnecessary highway developments, says Maria Chin

by FAYYADH JAAFAR / pic by BERNAMA

PETALING Jaya (PJ) MP Maria Chin Abdullah (picture) is urging the authorities to rethink highway developments, particularly the Petaling Jaya Dispersal Link (PJD Link) project, which she described as unnecessary. 

Although she agreed that traffic congestion should be addressed, Maria believed that there were better, more sustainable methods of doing so.

She cited the Mass Rapid Transit Line 3 (MRT3) route as an example, which was initially intended to run through Bukit Gasing instead of serving densely populated areas such as Taman Medan, Section 51, and the PJ Sentral development hub.

“Unfortunately, the government and private developers are myopic in how they see the development of public transportation. 

” We do not need multilevel highways and elevated flyovers as they do not reduce traffic congestion but only shift it from one area of congestion to another, as we see in India and the US. 

“Such solutions are “old-school” and we need to think outside the box to build a more sustainable public transportation system that serves the many and not just the few,” she said in a statement today. 

She also called for a comprehensive public consultation process to take place before any development projects are approved.

“It is extremely premature for the works minister to approve development projects without first consulting with the state government and residents. 

“I urge the Selangor state government to reject the PJD Link and seek alternative public transportation systems that are sustainable,” she added. 

Maria proposed that a consultation meeting between the state government, elected representatives, and residents would be useful in resolving Selangor’s position on the PJD Link.

She also suggested alternative methods of solving traffic congestion, such as building a smart underground mass transit train and road system.

“Build a smart underground mass transit train and road system as it will reduce land acquisition costs, have zero demolition of properties, reduce shifting of existing structures and utilities, and reduce pollution during piling and its development. 

“Provide more frequent and well-planned public buses and encourage massive public awareness to use more public transport, which will reduce our carbon footprints. Have them in tandem with the underground mass transit transport system,” she said. 

Additionally, Maria called for urban sprawl to reduce the burden on the city centre and to provide mobility incentives for residents, commercial and industrial companies to encourage them to move out of the city centre.

“If only the government and developers could do just these four things, we would indeed have a healthier, lower carbon footprint, and more sustainable environment for now and into the future,” she concluded.